New year, new you—isn’t that how the saying goes? It’s December, the end of 2018, and many of us are excitedly looking forward to the holidays and spending time with our families and friends. But as you’re filling out your New Year’s Resolutions for 2019, don’t forget to keep your professional goals in sight. Look around your business and evaluate the current atmosphere of your corporate culture. Does your team feel up-beat and enthusiastic? Or do people seem a little down-trodden and pessimistic? One thing that could be influencing them is your attitude towards your business’s current standing and looking ahead to new possibilities. So as we head into this holiday season, take a moment to evaluate your leadership style: do you operate through a mindset of abundance or scarcity?
Mindset Over Matter
Before we get to abundance versus scarcity, we first must understand what a mindset is and how it affects our day-to-day life. At the most basic level, our mindset is the lens through which we view the world. Mindsets influence our self-awareness, confidence, creativity, capabilities in overcoming challenges, reactions to setback—I could go on. On the spectrum of mindsets, there are two polar opposites—fixed mindsets and growth mindsets. A fixed mindset is resistant to change and stuck in the belief that qualities are predetermined: there is no way for someone to change their levels of creativity, intelligence, etc. A growth mindset is the exact opposite. Those who operate with a growth mindset believe that qualities are something to be cultivated and developed.
Abundance vs Scarcity
So what does mindset have to do with leading with thoughts of abundance versus thoughts of scarcity?
Leaders who let their actions be guided by a scarcity-based mindset tend to fall towards the fixed end of the scale. They can be defined as ‘not enough.’ They don’t have enough time, there aren’t enough resources, and they don’t have enough employees. Challenges are framed through what isn’t available versus what is. As you probably have gathered, scarcity-based mindsets often lead to feelings of negativity. This point of view can lead to teams becoming beaten down and defeated before they’ve even begun, and result in a sink-or-swim mentality that can leave employees exhausted and unmotivated. Not exactly a winning combination!
Luckily, there’s a solution: making the intentional choice to lead with abundance.
Leaders who act with an abundance-based mindset tend more towards a growth mentality. Instead of focusing on what isn’t, they point their teams towards what could be. Those acting through abundance direct attention to the possibilities. It can sometimes feel counterintuitive, but leading through a mindset of abundance means focusing on goals to be achieved versus the present situation. When teams have a desired goal in sight, they are more likely to perform at a higher level and have happier attitudes.
This isn’t to say that leaders should ignore their current situations. For instance, say that you are in need of a new salesperson on your team but have a limited amount of resources. Someone leading through scarcity might lament that they need this position filled but are unable to offer a competitive salary, so why bother? Meanwhile, an abundance-based leader might frame the problem as yes, they will be hiring an amazing new addition to the team to work on a commission basis and get in on the ground floor of a developing company. Same problem, but the mindset changes the worldview completely.
Do you want to make a shift in your mindset to change your corporate culture, but aren’t sure where to begin? Leadership Delta is here to get your 2019 off on the most abundant foot possible.