By Dan Rockwell
Hardening of the thought process happens when established ways of thinking dominate conversations about change.
Thinking shifts when you admit:
- “It’s not working.”
- “Working harder won’t work.”
Thinking needs to shift when:
- A promotion means keeping old responsibilities while taking on new.
- Work loses its joy for more than a week or two.
- Values become clearer. It’s frustrating to keeping doing things that don’t matter anymore.
- Old strategies disappoint. In a changing world, repeating the past is deadly.
A shift in thinking is like changing direction without a map. You haven’t been there before.You can’t predict where you’ll end up.
All you know is current ways of thinking stopped working.
3 ways to shift your thinking:
#1. Thinking shifts after old ways of working stop working.
Hardheaded leaders pedal harder even when pedaling harder doesn’t work.
As long as working harder works, you’ll cling to old ways of thinking.
A shift in thinking always requires you to take something out of your basket. The challenge is old strategies worked in the past. For example…
Telling people what to do worked when the team was inexperienced. But an experienced team resents intervention.
#2. Thinking shifts when you learn to trust others.
Distrust keeps you pedaling harder.
Competent team members are waiting for you to get off the bike.
Pedaling harder worked when you were trying to prove yourself. But you created unrealistic expectations for yourself and others.
#3. Thinking shifts when you ask, “How might I achieve more and slow down at the same time?”
Set a goal that buckles your knees AND shifts your thinking. The goal needs to be so big that working harder to reach it isn’t an option.
The first shift of leadership happens when blame turns to responsibility – you stop blaming others for YOUR frustrations.
What keeps leaders thinking the same way?
How has your thinking shifted?
Signs that you’re being too Stubborn (HBR)
12 Ways to Shift Your Mindset and Embrace Change (Inc)
New Results Using Old Methods is a Frustration Myth (Leadership Freak)
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Photo credit: iStock