Tag Archives: Growth Mindset

Four Growth Mindset Myths

Four Growth Mindset Myths

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

It’s not about profit, you don’t have to be upbeat all the time and you actually have a hybrid mindset!

# 1 – Growth mindset equals business growth, profits

A common finding by Neuro Leadership Institute is that some leaders believe growth mindset is about profits. In reality, growth mindset is the continuous belief that improvement is possible and that failures are opportunities to learn

# 2 – You either have a growth or a fixed mindset

No, we have a hybrid mindset with growth and fixed traits. Whether one is stronger than the other is often situational. Know yourself in given situations and be careful when labeling others

# 3 – Organizations, rather than people, can have a growth mindset

A mindset is a personal thing and thus not a part of an organizational culture as such. However, the essence of the growth mindset in an organizational context is to instill a mindset that is wired towards always trying to get better rather than believing – and proving – that you are the best. It overlaps

# 4 – You have to be positive all the time

Developing a growth mindset is much more about self-awareness and development rather than being in a positive growth mode all the time. We all have our ups and downs

What’s your mindset and what behaviors does this bring along? What about your team? Let’s talk if you want some free resources or other help on this. Get in touch.

Stefan Lindegaard Four Growth Mindset Myths

Image Credit: Stefan Lindegaard, Pexels

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What’s Your Mindset?

What's Your Mindset?

GUEST POST from Dennis Stauffer

Your mindset has a powerful influence on how you think and behave—including how innovative you are. You have the power to shift your mindset to become more innovative. However, to do that effectively you need to know what your mindset is now, and it’s mostly subconscious.

I’m going to show you how to measure your mindset, by surfacing some of those hidden assumptions. To do this, you’ll need some way to jot down four numbers and make a simple calculation.

You may have heard about the work of Stanford University Professor Carol Dweck and her distinction between a growth and a fixed mindset, which is what I’m having you measure. It’s what Dweck calls your Theory of Intelligence.

For each of four statements, I’d like you to write down a number between 1 and 6. One indicating that you strongly disagree with that statement, and six that you strongly agree, with increments in-between.

  1. Strongly Disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Slightly Disagree
  4. Slightly Agree
  5. Agree
  6. Strongly Agree

Ready?

  1. __ The first statement is: Our intelligence is something about each of us that we can’t change very much. Give that number between 1 and 6, depending on how strongly you agree or disagree with that statement.
  2. __ The next statement is: We can learn new things but we can’t really change how intelligent we are. Give that a number from one to six.
  3. __ The next statement is: No matter how much intelligence a person has, they can always change it quite a bit. Give that a number 1-6
  4. __ And the final statement is: I can always change how intelligent I am. Give that a number.

To score your results, add your first and second answers together to give yourself an “A” value, and add your third and fourth answers together to give yourself a “B” value.

If your A value is the larger of the two, that indicates that you favor what Dweck calls a fixed mindset—that you believe intelligence is largely fixed and unchanging.

If your B value is larger, you favor a growth mindset—defining intelligence as something you can change and grow.

The larger the difference between those two numbers, the stronger your preference.

In her research, Dweck has found this simple distinction has all sorts of ripple effects especially on how students perform. Students with a fixed mindset, may be quite smart, but they’re afraid to challenge themselves and try new things because if that reveals any intellectual deficits, they don’t believe they can do anything about it. Students with a growth mindset believe they can get smarter by working at it, giving them a strong motivation to work hard, learn and overcome setbacks. They tend to become the high performers.

You may never have given much thought to your personal theory of intelligence, but you almost certainly have one and it’s one of many hidden assumptions that make up your mindset. Dweck has found that those hidden assumptions impact your beliefs, behavior, motivation, competitiveness and ethics. Other researchers have found that mindset even impacts how your body functions.

Your mindset also impacts how innovative you are, and that can be measured too. Instead of the growth vs. fixed distinction, measuring your innovativeness involves a range of other tradeoffs. Things that impact how imaginative you are, how willing you are to take risks, how you make observations and how open you are to new insights and ideas.

A growth mindset makes you more willing to accept and push through failure, being ready to learn and discover. An Innovator Mindset is about how you go about doing that. How you can systematically find solutions and make improvements—including improving yourself. Being able to adapt and learn and make discoveries has many benefits in all aspects of your personal and professional life.

If you’d like to measure your innovativeness, across twelve dimensions, and receive detailed personalized feedback on how to improve it, go to Innovator Mindset where you’ll find links to take the Innovator Mindset assessment, or enroll in Mindset Trek elearning—which includes the assessment—to get in depth mindset training.

Here is a video version of this post:

Image Credit: Pixabay

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25 Secrets to Growing Leaders

25 Secrets to Growing Leaders

GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski

1. If you want to grow leaders, meet with them daily.

2. If you want to grow leaders, demand that they disagree with you.

3. If you want to grow leaders, help them with all facets of their lives.

4. If you want to grow leaders, there is no failure, there is only learning.

5. If you want to grow leaders, give them the best work.

6. If you want to grow leaders, protect them.

7. If you want to grow leaders, spend at least two years with them.

8. If you want to grow leaders, push them.

9. If you want to grow leaders, praise them.

10. If you want to grow leaders, get them comfortable with discomfort.

11. If you want to grow leaders, show them who you are.

12. If you want to grow leaders, demand that they use their judgment.

13. If you want to grow leaders, give them just a bit more than they can handle and help them handle it.

14. If you want to grow leaders, show emotion.

15. If you want to grow leaders, tell them the truth, even when it creates anxiety.

16. If you want to grow leaders, always be there for them.

17. If you want to grow leaders, pull a hamstring and make them present in your place.

18. If you want to grow leaders, be willing to compromise your career so their careers can blossom.

19. If you want to grow leaders, when you are on vacation tell everyone they are in charge.

20. If you want to grow leaders, let them chose between to two good options.

21. If you want to grow leaders, pay attention to them.

22. If you want to grow leaders, be consistent.

23. If you want to grow leaders, help them with their anxiety.

24. If you want to grow leaders, trust them.

25. If you want to grow leaders, demonstrate leadership.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of September 2023

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of September 2023Drum roll please…

At the beginning of each month, we will profile the ten articles from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Human-Centered Change & Innovation. Did your favorite make the cut?

But enough delay, here are September’s ten most popular innovation posts:

  1. The Malcolm Gladwell Trap — by Greg Satell
  2. Where People Go Wrong with Minimum Viable Products — by Greg Satell
  3. Our People Metrics Are Broken — by Mike Shipulski
  4. Why You Don’t Need An Innovation Portfolio — by Robyn Bolton
  5. Do you have a fixed or growth mindset? — by Stefan Lindegaard
  6. Building a Psychologically Safe Team — by David Burkus
  7. Customer Wants and Needs Not the Same — by Shep Hyken
  8. The Hard Problem of Consciousness is Not That Hard — by Geoffrey A. Moore
  9. Great Coaches Do These Things — by Mike Shipulski
  10. How Not to Get in Your Own Way — by Mike Shipulski

BONUS – Here are five more strong articles published in August that continue to resonate with people:

If you’re not familiar with Human-Centered Change & Innovation, we publish 4-7 new articles every week built around innovation and transformation insights from our roster of contributing authors and ad hoc submissions from community members. Get the articles right in your Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin feeds too!

Have something to contribute?

Human-Centered Change & Innovation is open to contributions from any and all innovation and transformation professionals out there (practitioners, professors, researchers, consultants, authors, etc.) who have valuable human-centered change and innovation insights to share with everyone for the greater good. If you’d like to contribute, please contact me.

P.S. Here are our Top 40 Innovation Bloggers lists from the last three years:

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Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?

Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

What does it mean to have a mindset? How does it shape your actions, and those of the people you interact with? Is it steadfast, or does it evolve? Could it perhaps be a fusion of elements? It’s crucial to understand mindsets as they influence not only our behaviors but also the behaviors of those we engage with, allowing us to better navigate the world.

Research defines “mindset” as a mental frame or lens that selectively organizes and interprets information, orienting an individual’s understanding of experiences and guiding their responses and actions. This definition, adapted from Carol Dweck by Salovey and Achor, illuminates that our mindset, composed of our thoughts and beliefs, influences our perception of ourselves, our environment, and the broader world. Such understanding is vital in team dynamics, leadership, and organizational contexts.

Dweck identified two primary mindsets:

  • A fixed mindset, in which intelligence is viewed as static, leading to the desire to appear intelligent and influencing specific behaviors.
  • A growth mindset, where intelligence is seen as something that can be developed, sparking a desire to learn and driving diverse behaviors.

The growth mindset, characterized by the belief that abilities can be honed with consistent effort, is shaped by how we perceive and tackle five critical areas:

  1. Viewing effort as a path to mastery
  2. Demonstrating persistence in the face of obstacles
  3. Seeing others’ success as a source of inspiration and learning
  4. Embracing challenges
  5. Welcoming criticism as an opportunity to learn and grow

However, we need to acknowledge that our mindsets aren’t strictly “fixed” or “growth” in nature. They’re typically a hybrid of both, influenced by the context and phase of our lives. It’s is also situational. Our response to situations can shift, revealing the dominance of one mindset over the other at different times. Recognizing this within ourselves and avoiding prematurely labeling others is vital.

Here are a few case study examples:

Case Study 1 – Education

To give a practical example, let’s look at the world of education. Imagine a student who struggles with math. With a fixed mindset, they might think, “I’m just not good at math,” and subsequently put less effort into learning. However, if they adopt a growth mindset, they would perceive math as a challenge they can overcome with practice and effort. Using different strategies and seeking help when necessary, the student’s math skills can improve, highlighting the practical application of a growth mindset.

Case Study 2 – Microsoft

In the business world, Microsoft provides an excellent case study. Under CEO Satya Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft shifted from a fixed to a growth mindset. Nadella introduced Dweck’s growth mindset concept to the company culture, fostering innovation and collaboration. The shift, encapsulated in the motto “Learn it all” vs. “Know it all,” encouraged employees to remain open-minded, learn from their mistakes, and continually improve. This change in mindset led to increased employee engagement, innovation, and contributed to Microsoft’s recent growth.

Case Study 3 – Sports

In sports, athletes often exemplify the growth mindset. Consider basketball legend Michael Jordan. He was cut from his high school varsity team because he was deemed “not good enough.” Rather than accepting this as an unchangeable state, he viewed it as a challenge and redoubled his efforts to improve. His eventual rise to becoming one of the greatest basketball players of all time showcases how a growth mindset can lead to superior performance in the face of setbacks and criticism.

Conclusion

As I often say, “The essence of the growth mindset in an organizational context is to instill a mindset focused on continuous improvement rather than the need to prove that one is the best.”

Implementing the growth mindset in team dynamics is part of my work. However, it doesn’t stand alone. It must be complemented by other factors like fostering a learning culture, ensuring psychological safety, and navigating the comfort zone. All these components are critical to effective team, leadership, and organizational development.

Image Credit: Stefan Lindegaard

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How Not to Get in Your Own Way

How Not to Get in Your Own Way

GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski

If you could get another good job at the drop of a hat, how would you work differently? Would you speak your mind or bite your tongue?

If you didn’t care about getting a promotion, would you succumb to groupthink or dissent?

If your ego didn’t get in the way, would you stop following the worn-out recipe and make a new one?

If you don’t judge yourself by the number of people who work for you, would your work be better? Would you choose to work on different projects? How do you feel about that?

If you knew your time at the company was finite, how would your contribution change? Who would you stop working with? Who would you start working with? Wouldn’t that feel good?

If you didn’t care about your yearly rating, wouldn’t your rating improve?

If you cared more about helping others, wouldn’t your talents (and the returns) be multiplied?

If your time horizon was doubled, wouldn’t work on projects that are important at the expense of those that are urgent?

If your ego didn’t block you from working on projects that might fail, wouldn’t you work on projects that could obsolete your best work?

If you cared about the long-term success of the company, wouldn’t you work more with young people to get them ready for the next decade?

If you cared solely about doing the right projects in the right way, wouldn’t you help your best team members move to the most important projects, even if that meant they worked for someone else?

If you cared about helping people develop, would you formalize their development areas and help them grow, or take the easy route and let them flounder?

If you didn’t care about getting the credit, how would you and your work be different? Would the company be better for it? How about your happiness?

If you declined every other meeting and just read the meeting minutes, would that be a problem? And even if there are no meeting minutes to read, don’t you think that you’d get along just fine? And don’t you think you’d get more done?

What would you have to change to work more often with young people?

What would you have to change so your best people could be moved to the most important projects?

What would you have to change so you’d dissent when that’s what’s needed?

What would you have to change to develop others, even if it cost you a promotion?

What would you have to change so you could ditch the urgent projects and start the meaningful ones?

What would you have to change so you could spend more time developing young talent?

What would you have to change so you could attend fewer meetings and make more progress?

What would you have to change so you could work on the most outlandish projects?

What’s in the way of looking inside and figuring out how to live differently?

If you were able to change, who would you start work with? Who would you stop working with? Which projects would you start and which would you stop? Which meetings would you skip? Who are the three young people you’d help grow?

If you were able to change, would you be better for it? And how about the people that work with you? And how about your family? And wouldn’t your company be better for it?

So I ask you – What’s in the way? And what are you going to do about it?

Image credit: Pexels

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Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of June 2023

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of June 2023Drum roll please…

At the beginning of each month, we will profile the ten articles from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Human-Centered Change & Innovation. Did your favorite make the cut?

But enough delay, here are June’s ten most popular innovation posts:

  1. Generation AI Replacing Generation Z — by Braden Kelley
  2. Mission Critical Doesn’t Mean What You Think it Does — by Geoffrey A. Moore
  3. “I don’t know,” is a clue you’re doing it right — by Mike Shipulski
  4. 5 Tips for Leaders Navigating Uncertainty – From Executives at P&G, CVS, Hannaford, and Intel — by Robyn Bolton
  5. Reverse Innovation — by Mike Shipulski
  6. Change Management Best Practices for Maximum Adoption — by Art Inteligencia
  7. Making Employees Happy at Work — by David Burkus
  8. 4 Things Leaders Must Know About Artificial Intelligence and Automation — by Greg Satell
  9. Be Human – People Will Notice — by Mike Shipulski
  10. How to Fail Your Way to Success — by Robyn Bolton

BONUS – Here are five more strong articles published in May that continue to resonate with people:

If you’re not familiar with Human-Centered Change & Innovation, we publish 4-7 new articles every week built around innovation and transformation insights from our roster of contributing authors and ad hoc submissions from community members. Get the articles right in your Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin feeds too!

Have something to contribute?

Human-Centered Change & Innovation is open to contributions from any and all innovation and transformation professionals out there (practitioners, professors, researchers, consultants, authors, etc.) who have valuable human-centered change and innovation insights to share with everyone for the greater good. If you’d like to contribute, please contact me.

P.S. Here are our Top 40 Innovation Bloggers lists from the last three years:

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.






Psychological Safety, Growth Mindset and Difficult Conversations to Shape the Future

Psychological Safety, Growth Mindset and Difficult Conversations to Shape the Future

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

How can we embrace and implement the growth mindset and psychological safety in our organization? How can we train our people and in particular our leaders on this? How do we get better at shaping the future?

Those are questions I hear often these days as the interest in the above topics rises fast.

In this post, I share lots of ideas on how you and your organization can embrace the growth mindset, psychological safety and related attributes in the context of shaping the future. Feel free to use my work as you see fit as long as you give due credit!

At the same time, I hope you will read this and give me some feedback as this is also a work-in-progress approach for how I work with my clients on these topics.

It’s a longer than usual read, but skim through and stop, read more if you find something of interest to you. I have also added a number of images at the end. Enjoy!

Introduction

The purpose is to help individuals, teams and leaders get even better at shaping the future in the context of people and organizational as well as market and business perspectives.

The key pillars are the growth mindset, psychological safety and innovation for an agile, learning organization.

The problem/challenge

In general, the leaders in most large organizations are very capable at managing the day-to-day activities while they struggle in terms of mindset, skills and tool-box on shaping the future activities.

The challenge is that leaders can’t become great leaders – or even good leaders – who can take your organization to the next level if they do not find the right balance between managing the day-to-day activities and shaping the future.

This balance should not be 50/50. It should not even be close to that as the day-to-day issues will always require more focus and attention than the future-shaping activities. However, the current balance of 90/10 as we see in most companies is not healthy and we need to change this in order to develop an organization that will be even more ready for a future driven by constant change and disruption on many levels.

Why do we need to work with the growth mindset and psychological safety in this context?

It’s quite simple. If these pre-requisites are not in place, you can’t build an environment that allows your organization to be good at shaping the future and then you are left with only being good at managing the day-to-day activities.

This has been enough to be successful for decades, but it will not work for the future. So, do you want your leaders to be stuck at the past and present or should they get ready for shaping the future as well?

The approach, solution

You can develop a tailored program based on The Collective Growth Mindset framework which helps you embrace and implement the growth mindset approach and complementary attributes such as psychological safety within your organization.

It’s a training and coaching program that builds on these five elements: Mindset, Shape/Pulse, Communicate, Learn and Network.

Here’s a short description on the elements for each area.

The mindset of your team

  • Know the mindset of yourself and your team members
  • Map the mindset of key stakeholders and/or a specific leadership team
  • Group reflection on behaviors and actions (if any) to be taken on this

The shape and pulse of your team

  • What’s in it for me? – address an important question
  • Know the T-shapes
  • Understand your level of psychological safety and ability to have hard conversations
  • Do you play to win or not to lose?
  • Know your barriers, obstacles and attack the root causes in the context of getting stuff done

The communication of and around your team

  • Know how to have the hard conversations
  • Build mechanisms to ensure better feedback
  • Create a common language (big picture, smaller tasks)
  • Work your stakeholders with consistent messages

The learning ways for your team

  • Know how you learn the best as individuals and as a team
  • Apply shared, peer learning for better access to “tacit” knowledge
  • Take the first steps for a PLC, a personal learning cloud

The network and networking capabilities of your team

  • Network for the future, not the past
  • The mindset of your network
  • Learn to build better networks and relationships

The key delivery elements within our program are training sessions (physical and on-demand) and coaching for individuals and teams. See more on this below.

Actions, desired achievements

Having the above five elements as the starting point, we focus on specific actions and desired achievements such as:

Identification of needs and opportunities

The Collective Growth Mindset framework offers much depth, but we need to make sure our efforts fit the needs and opportunities of our participants. We map this out and use it as the main guiding tool for our activities.

Training sessions

Shorter sessions (even micro-learning – few minutes) and up to full-day workshops are used to address the needs and opportunities. It will be a mix of inspirational insights and hands-on workshops. We focus on mindset as well as actions. This will be delivered physically and virtually and when possible, we will save this for on-demand learning.

Coaching

Constructively thought-provoking coaching sessions will be made available for individuals as well as teams. Here, we can go in-depth with more specific and even personal elements.

Role models

We help leaders become role models on the growth mindset. We do this by minimizing and eliminating the negative behaviors while enforcing the positive behavior in the context of the growth mindset for teams and the organization.

Story-tellers

Once, we are on track to help leaders become better role-models, we work with them to become good story-tellers on the growth mindset. This allows us to build a positive circle of strong communication that can help change behaviors for the better.

Hard conversations

Great leaders can facilitate hard conversation within their own leadership teams as well as within the teams they lead themselves. For this, we help them identify and address the weaknesses and strengths and we give them practical tools for having such conversations.

Conversation and feedback guides

We develop feedback guides and tools to help your people, teams and leaders get better at feedback. This goes for giving as well as receiving.

Network for the future, not just the past and the present

Networking, relationship skills are underrated and underserved. It’s unfortunately often assumed that this – networking – happens by itself. Not true as this requires direction, effort and time. We address this in the context that the people you network and associate yourself with are highly influential on what and how you learn. Thus, this impacts your mindset.

Behavioral metrics and KPI’s

There are too few metrics and KPI’s that focuses on behaviors and in particular some that can measure a “live” progress. We will address this through on-going self- and team assessments and the tracking a chosen keywords within the communication of our target groups.

Creating the psychological safety, team by team

Professor Amy C. Edmondson defines psychological safety as “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.” We work with assessments and exercises to help your teams and organization to create a high level of psychological safety.

Personal learning cloud

Within the current learning systems at Wartsila, we build a personal learning cloud with training and materials that are targeted to and relevant for each participant. Although this has a personal starting point, it will also be social and collaborative as this is how we need to embrace and implement the growth mindset and its attributes.

Conclusion

I sense a lot of power and value in the growth mindset approach and its attributes like psychological safety, hard conversations, networking etc.

However, we are also in the early phases of developing the concepts and frameworks we need to make this happen within our organizations.

My ambition is to share what I know to help move this forward in a collective way. The tide rises all boats. We all win. Let’s help each other get better!

Thanks for reading this. Your likes, shares, questions and comments are much appreciated.

Image Credit: Pexels

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Getting Through Grief Consciously

Getting Through Grief Consciously

GUEST POST from Tullio Siragusa

Life brings opportunities, happiness, and skyrocketing success when we decide to live it fully and without fear. Along with that, we will face challenging times that will cause us to grieve.

Globally, we are all facing a form of grief right now. Be it the loss of a loved one to Covid-19, or the loss of our free way of life — grief is all around us. Before this pandemic that we are experiencing collectively, you may have suffered the loss of loved ones for other reasons, or you may have gone through a divorce, a breakup, the loss of a friendship, or the loss of a pet.

There are many forms of loss. You can experience loss of money, your job, reputation, your faith, health, and even loss of hope.

“Loss is a normal part of life and grief is part of the healing process if we learn to face it with grace.”

To get through grief with grace it’s ideal to face it with the help of others, but for the most part you have to get through it alone. We are privileged to have family, friends, spiritual direction, therapists, life coaches and other support groups around us, but healing grief is essentially between you and yourself.

“In time of grief you need to embrace yourself, love yourself and cure yourself.”

It is easier said than done, but there is truly no other way around grief than to face it fully on your own, courageously, vulnerability and with grace.

Importance of Grace

We all, at some point in our lives, have felt as if we reached our breaking point, but eventually we wake up to the desire to not be broken for rest of our lives. For instance, while going through hard times we are not always acting our best selves. Harsh words are often exchanged with others out of the need to “dump the pain” on someone else to feel some sense of relief. After doing that, we often feel guilty about it and apologize.

It is not bad to apologize, but losing your temper and saying things you normally would not say can not only tarnish your image, but can scar someone badly enough that you lose their trust for a long time, and sometimes forever.

“When you manage your emotions while grieving, you hold on to grace, and grace is the energy of mercy for yourself and others.”

Our personality gets groomed with every pain we overcome. If we walk through life’s journey with a mindset that everything happens for a reason, and everything happens to teach us something new, then every challenging time becomes an opportunity to add strong positive and graceful traits to our personality.

The people who learn to manage their emotions during the toughest times without falling apart, add an unprecedented trait of composure, grace and an emotionally intelligent personality.

How to Get Through Grief with Grace

First, you need to fully acknowledge that grief is normal. It is not a disease. It is not a sign of weakness, or lack of emotional intelligence.

Our human body and mind is built to respond to situations. When we lose something, or someone precious, grief comes knocking. Trying to avoid that grief is not the right way to get over it. The best way to deal with grief is to embrace it and get through it.

One of my spiritual teachers used to say: “The only way to get to the other side of hell, is one more step deeper into it, that is where the exit door is waiting for you.”

“In order to grieve with grace, we need the courage to face loss as normal as anything else we experience in life.”

I know people who have avoided facing the loss of their loved ones for years, but ultimately, they had to go through it and face it. Grief will come for you no matter what, so why postpone it?

The foremost thing to handle any tough situation is to develop gratitude for all those blessed situations in your life that make it beautiful. No doubt, feeling gratitude while grieving is almost impossible, but if you develop a habit of being grateful on a daily basis, it becomes possible to feel it even during tough times.

If you are going through grief, find a peaceful place away from all those people reminding you of the loss, and try to connect to any happy moment you can recall. Feel that moment in your heart. Hold on to that feeling as long as possible and write it down later.

Whenever you feel broken, be mindful of such moments. You will soon be able to tap to a comparatively happy person inside you, anytime you need to.

“The way to develop your grace muscle is to live daily with gratitude and make a mental library of the happy moments in your life that you can borrow against, during difficult times.”

We have been living in a time in history void of pain. We are constantly seeking happiness and running from pain and suffering. Now we are being forced to face pain, suffering, uncertainty, and loss.

There are blessings inherent within loss and suffering. The blessings are always revealed on the other side of grief, and it is always hard to believe that the blessing is happening amidst grief and pain. However, if you look back in your life at the moments that defined you, the moments when you experienced the most Light, the most blessings — it was soon after your darkest hours.

“When we move through the process of grief believing in our ability to grow from the experience, we become more aware of the blessings in disguise that will come out of it.”

A sense of serenity can be achieved through releasing the pressure of the expectations of a set pattern for your life. There comes a moment when it is better to embrace what you can’t change, and develop the courage to strive for what you can.

“Acknowledging your capacities and the difference between what you can and what you can’t control, will make it easier to go through grief.”

What I am talking about is the power of surrendering to what is, instead of holding on to what could have been. For most people, grace is among the most precious trait of their personality and behavior.

If you have lost something or someone precious that is an irreparable loss, it is important to take care of yourself during those testing times. Remember that all chaos comes with an expiration date, and to surrender to the change you need to make to keep moving forward.

Remember the blessings in your life, be grateful for what is, has been, and will be, and be patient with yourself.

NOTE: For all those who have lost loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic and have not been able to properly say goodbye, I wish that their memory be a blessing in your life.

Image credit: Pexels

Originally published at tulliosiragusa.com on April 27, 2020

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True Leaders Inspire Freedom

True Leaders Inspire Freedom

GUEST POST from Tullio Siragusa

A baby elephant was tied to a pole at the zoo. For years she tried to break free tugging at the pole by the rope tied around her neck.

She tried and tried and could never break free.

Many years later, she grew to be a very big and powerful elephant. She was still tied to the same pole. She could break free of her bondage so easily now that she had become a big elephant, but her mind conditioning will not allow her. She doesn’t even try.

Much like the elephant in this story, we have been conditioned for a very long time in a work culture that is based on commands and controls. A work culture supported by an education system that was developed for the assembly line, industrial revolution. An educational system that subtly teaches subservience.

From a society’s viewpoint, we have also been part of a narrative for thousands of years that encourages self-sacrifice, for the greater good, which is contrary to our nature as human beings.

Do we have a lot stacked up against us, or do we just have the baby elephant syndrome, and think we can’t break free?

I was in Russia three years ago. Specifically, in Siberia Russia where I met with Tomsk State University students to talk about freedom-based cultures. We talked about shared authority, self-managed teams, equivalence, and leaders versus bosses.

These young men and women were curious, and open, and had many questions. I had just finished talking about the sense of duplicity that is predominant in many people’s lives today.

Having to be one way at the office, and another at home. We talked about how duplicity causes stress, and worse how it does not foster trust among people because it does not encourage authenticity.

Are you the same person at the office, as you are at home? Does your work environment dictate what you should wear at the office? Do you have to show up and leave at a certain time? Do you have to do things you don’t care to do, just to please your boss? Do you compete with your peers, or work as a team? Are you free to speak your mind and offer up suggestions for company improvements?

Today’s work environment based on command and controls, does not foster innovation, or creativity. Today’s work environment demands conformity.

“Today’s work environment wants you to stay a baby elephant for the rest of your life.”

Freedom Cultures

I went on to explain how leaders earn followers because they are willing to serve, and they are willing to be of service.

What’s the difference between serving and being of service?

You can get paid to serve but being of service is a state of being that cannot be purchased. You enjoy being of service because it is part of who you are at your core.

“True authentic leaders are of service, because they desire to serve — it is a calling.”

The difference between a boss and a leader is that of control vs. freedom. One requires you conform to how things are done, the other encourages you to find better ways to do things, to create, to innovate, and to do things on your terms.

Why would companies not embrace freedom?

Fear is the main reason. The other reason is that much like the elephant they just accept things for how they have been, instead of how things could be.

Some of the questions and comments these young men and women asked me were:

  • How do you make the change from a command and control to freedom-based company?
  • How can companies adopt this in countries that don’t encourage free societies?
  • This is one of those big, change the world ideas, how can it be implemented?

The questions left me feeling a sense of hope and excitement that these university students saw the value of what was being presented and started to wonder about how to implement it.

I answered every question truthfully and made myself available for follow up with any of the students. The comment made about “changing the world” stood out for me.

I looked at the young man in the eyes and said to him: “It is someone like you, who will start a company, become the leader of one, and remember this presentation, that will make the change.

Then one of your people will do the same, and the trickled down effect of that will change a society, a country, and the world.”

Some of us are on a mission to start this change, to spark it, to inspire it, with a Radical Purpose Movement to help organizations embrace freedom and equivalence.

My personal mission and responsibility, as the author of the upcoming book “Emotionally Aware Leadership” is to stop the spread of a worldwide epidemic that fosters co-dependency and keeps us in a mind-set prison of not being able to break free of controls.

“The most pervasive disease that plagues all of humanity is low self-worth.”

True leaders operate from a high level of self-worth that is inner directed, not based on external outcomes, or input. Those leaders encourage others to believe in themselves and to grow.

Want to change the world?

You must break free of the limiting mindset conditioning. You can’t be a giant elephant and act like you are still a baby tied to a pole. More importantly as a leader you want to inspire freedom in your organization, at home, and in the world.

Freedom is synonyms with happiness.

Tomsk State University presentation about freedom-centered cultures:

Image credit: Pexels

Originally published at tulliosiragusa.com on April 29, 2019

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