Think about the last time you took on a new goal or were faced with a new challenge. Did you start out believing you would succeed, or expecting to fail? Did you believe you could overcome the obstacles or did you start out expecting to succumb to the trials?
Odds are that the times you were successful, you started with a rock-solid belief that you would succeed.
Henry Ford said “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” His words from almost 100 years ago are true today more than ever. In today’s business culture, leaders face overwhelming challenges to stay competitive and relevant with the need to build organizations that continuously innovate. When we innovate, we are challenging the status quo and pushing the limits of our belief systems.
What do I mean by “belief”? A belief is simply a feeling of certainty about something. As leaders, we must be proactive in creating the kind of beliefs that will help us build a culture of organizational competence, innovation and relevance. [bctt tweet=”As leaders we must be proactive in creating beliefs that help us build a culture of innovation and relevance.” username=”markatrisepg”]
How do you develop these beliefs in your team or organization? It requires intentional effort to establish the tone and focus for your team. Let’s look at five steps to get started:
- Decide what empowering beliefs you want your organization to adopt. Write out two to four beliefs that you can commit to implementing in your organization. Here are two examples to get you started:
- We can accomplish anything that we are committed to.
- It is never a lack of resources, only a lack of resourcefulness, that holds us back.
- Nurture these empowering beliefs and don’t tolerate dis-empowering beliefs. A belief is strengthened when you can point to references where that belief has been true. If you believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, make it part of your weekly meeting cadence to communicate with your team and give them examples of where you’re accomplishing bold goals, things that seemed impossible. [bctt tweet=”A belief is strengthened when you can point to references where that belief has been true.” username=”markatrisepg”]
- Invest in your people. Knowledge is potential power because it’s a building block to confidence. Bring in speakers and trainers, send your people to conferences and events. They will be exposed to people and ideas that will raise their level of thinking and their level of confidence. This exposure helps expand their beliefs.
- Control the meaning given to negative outcomes. Anytime you are pursuing bold goals, there will always be setbacks and challenges. Our tendency is to look at what’s not working or what’s wrong. What’s wrong doesn’t take any leadership ability to see, but what’s right takes a leader to find. Look for those opportunities and point them out to your team. [bctt tweet=”What’s wrong doesn’t take any leadership ability to see, but what’s right takes a leader to find.” username=”markatrisepg”]
- Create the experience in your mind and in the mind of your team in advance. Consistently paint the picture of success. The mind does not know the difference between fact and reality. Try this: imagine picking up a lemon and taking a bite out of it. How did your body physically respond to that imagined event? Did your mouth water? Most likely it did. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between what you just imagined and what happened. You created that image in your mind, and your body responded. When we focus on the future and the beliefs that will create that future, you will achieve bolder and bolder goals. Our other-than-conscious mind will work to make those beliefs a reality.
Make these steps a part of your leadership rhythm. This isn’t a one-time exercise – you’ll do it over and over. Start with a couple of beliefs, then start again and add a couple of more. But remember, as the leader, you have to go first. Identify the beliefs and then believe them – if you expect your team to buy into the belief statements you identified in step one, you have to lead the way. If you expect your team to identify what’s going right, you have to constantly look for what’s going right.
Spend some time each day reflecting on each of these steps and find specific examples for each one. It may help to jot them down in a journal or on your calendar. Make it part of your cadence and the cadence of your team’s meetings.
What can you do today to start building and nurturing your beliefs and the beliefs of your team?