What is the right leadership mindset for winning organizations today? The checklist!

In this era of fundamental transformation, it has never been more difficult to find the right leadership mindset.  As I travel around the world and work in different organizations, I see women and men trying to get to grips with the trifecta of problems:

  • no time
  • no resources
  • no luck

Ok, maybe that’s a little provocative and certainly a little reductionist, but allow me to develop.

No time to do that

The way I see it, people are losing out to the war with 24 hours because of three things:No time, leadership mindset, The Myndset Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy

  • the need (or opportunity) to act in real time thanks to ever improving technologies
  • the fact that we are operating on a world stage (round the clock)
  • and, most importantly, because we have a tendancy to base too many of our assumptions and behaviors on the past model.

The big mistake is believing that the internet is a major ADDITION to our lives.  It is not just additional, it is transformational.  {Please click to tweet this out!}  Digital has a way of impacting everything we do.  This means that we need to pull back and reassess how we integrate the digital activities into our daily lives — whether it be personal or professional.

Out of my budget

With ongoing economic pressures, we tend to focus on the need to be more efficient and, in many cases, on reductions in costs and head count. We’ll frequently hear the refrain: “doing more with less.”  The issue here is that, in the process, businesses may lose sight of the client and the client experience.  Probably even more important, businesses will lose the plot on employee fulfillment and engagement.  {If you like: please click to tweet}

Sh*t out of luck

It’s a tough world out there.  I hear people bemoan that they can’t get a video to go viral. Others talk about how an unexpected [bad] event came along … Others still are saying that they have no luck in recruiting good people (for those hiring, that is). No luck, No time, leadership mindset, The Myndset Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy In truth, the majority of companies and executives are struggling today on many fronts.  However, I don’t believe it’s a question of luck or a problem of economic woes.  There have been a number of factors that have come together to make this period so difficult for leaders.  Specifically, there is the conjunction of a new consumer mindset moving away from hyper consumerism (i.e. from job insecurity, fears for under-endowed retirement, greener considerations…), a material shift in socio-demographics, along with the freedom of the internet and the arrival of social media.  Moreover, in 2012, we also saw an unprecedented number of presidential elections of major countries around the world, and more heavy hitters in 2013.  Last year, there were, in fact, at least 28 Presidential or Prime Minister elections, including France, US, China, India and Russia.  We have seen seesmic change on all fronts.

So, what is the miracle cure?  There is none.  For the brand marketer, it requires a complex mixture of re-thinks that starts with diving back into what your brand is all about (and, of course, includes making sure you have a great product that customers want).  That said, the hardest part, which makes for long-term customer fidelity and enterprise success, is about having the right leadership mindset.  Attitude isn’t something that can be crafted.

Leadership mindset: the myndset checklist

I propose a list of ten points that could serve as a myndset checklist to see if you, your top leaders and your organization have what it takes.

  1. Accepting Failure.  Experimentation and learning from one’s mistakes are vital in today’s instable and fast changing context.  Launch-Learn-Iterate is a grand motto.
  2. Constant Curiosity.  With today’s pace of innovation, it is not advisable to get married to one’s current views, much less a specific digital eco-system.  We need to have an unending appetite and curiosity for learning about and trying new things.
  3. Networking & Relationships.  More than ever, we must rely on our network.  Whatever the sector, we are all in a people business — just by the nature of the employees who surround us and the client with whom we interface, no matter the product one sells.  The ability of a senior executive to act as a facilitor, connecting the right people, is so important to help break down the silos within organizations, to render teams more agile.   Moreover, a strong network is vital for helping to stay up-to-date.  Just ask a competent journalist!
  4. Coach.  In order to encourage constant learning — a fundamental principle of a learning organization — the top executives need to consider themselves as coaches, helping to encourage, motivate and train individuals while putting together the right teams…
  5. Hire for Attitude.  As opposed to hiring for competences (which can be acquired), it is more important to have the right foundation on which to build.  This requires having the courage to fire when the attitude doesn’t materialize and/or isn’t respected.  There are two skillsets to which I personally am particularly attentive: empathy and listening skills.  However, these specific skillsets need to be established by each organization.Checklist, leadership mindset, The Myndset Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy
  6. Bring Emotion into the workplace.  We have to enable teams to be the best they can be.  Tapping into the personal motivations and emotions is the most sure-fire way to get the most out of your team.  In a world where everyone feels stretched and is working overtime, the teams that are inspired by a greater sense of mission and accomplishment will generally go furthest.
  7. Imperfect, if not Beautiful, is Beguiling.  Seth Godin went perhaps a little further when he wrote: “If you are in love with the perfect, prepare to see it swept away. If you are able to dream of the impossible, it just might happen.”  Imperfection is not exactly the route to impossible.  However, in a world where we are more attuned to authenticity, meaning and immediacy, imperfection has its charms.  {Click to Tweet}
  8. Execution is Strategic.  It has always been important to execute.  In a digital world filled with bugs, however, execution becomes even more sensitive.  The user experience depends on not encountering bugs.  Even the smallest of errors are immediately punished. Being focused on the user experience is vital.  Creating a pool of testers during the beta phase can be a very effective way to iron out the wrinkles.
  9. Get comfortable with Technology.  If I were to be a rather more forceful, we should all be getting comfortable not just with technology, but with coding and programming.  At the very least, we need to get closer to the IT teams in an effort to optimize infrastructure and systems investments.
  10. The last recommendation is perhaps more philosophical: to Be the Change you want to see Happen.  If a leader is to inspire change, he/she must incarnate that change.  I see many leaders say that digital is important, but still don’t have their own digital presence.  This is no way to spark change by delegating the responsibility.  Here’s to Tweetbosses!

I’d love to have your feedback.

Comments 8

  1. The internet is a major ADDITION to our lives. AND, for some a major addiction, screens everywhere at the dinner table. Know how to work better, yes, AND learn to rest better, have fun even doing nothing.
    Get comfortable with Technology. That takes time, resources and a certain dosage of intelligence (ie adaptation to constant changes). Technology is between passion and frustration.

  2. I do not have a facebook account (I am big on Linkedin even though I only accept connections!) I do like your check list, I find the emotion idea interesting, although I see much more “negative” emotions these days, and I still believe high emotion= low IQ, bad time to make decisions!

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  6. I especially liked #4, 6 and 7. There is a certain level of acceptance as well that needs to accompany assimilating the information. Reading it and knowing it is not worth much without allowing even a few parts of it to be welcomed into daily practice and take shape within the business.

    1. You are so right Doreen. Intellectually, it’s not hard to say yes to many of these items. Living, breathing and modeling such in a corporate environment, day in and day out, is another kettle of fish!

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