Leadership Psychology – Thinking Your Way Through Brexit!

When asked, virtually all leaders will say that they want to be as successful as they can in their careers and lives, whatever that might mean to them.

There are periods in their careers when the world, the marketplace or circumstances will make success easier to achieve and other periods when it will make it more challenging to achieve. For most (but not all), the current economic climate and Brexit is perceived as a challenge to their individual and collective organisational success.

Based on nearly twenty years continuing research and study I believe there is a greater determining factor to whether leaders achieve their individual and organisation success criteria…

their thinking, mindset, attitude or to use just one word, THEIR PSYCHOLOGY!

Let me explain why…

Put simply, the first link in the human success chain is that our THINKING creates and drives our EMOTIONAL state. What we do in our heads shapes how we are feeling. In turn these feelings shape and drive our behaviour, creating ACTIONS that form repeated habits. It is these patterns of action, what we continuously do, that decide the nature and quality of the RESULTS that we either enjoy or painfully endure. Whatever the climate, leaders need to think in ways that give them the results they seek, and help others to do the same.

We are experiencing an economic climate where more than ever, it is crucial for everyone, but particularly LEADERS, to ensure they are adopting a success based psychology. As human beings we very rarely have complete control over all the circumstances we find ourselves in. Nevertheless it is true to say, in my considered opinion, that we all have far more control than we may believe over what we think about and how we choose to think about it within these circumstances.

So, let me help you banish a myth here and now, once and for all. Circumstances (even if you perceive them as challenging) don’t have a total stranglehold on the results that you can expect from life. My very strong belief, reinforced by many years of study and work with organisations is that it is your consistent THINKING that will shape your results and level of success.

The reason for this is that the human brain works teleologically. In other words in the way it functions it is very end goal orientated. It wants to complete what it has in mind. However, it doesn’t differentiate between a do and a don’t. What your mind finds itself focusing on, success or failure is what you will inevitably gravitate towards. It’s like a heat-seeking missile locking doggedly on to its target.

There are three ways that we can think and focus in any given set of circumstances:

  1. Focusing on failure – focusing on the inevitably of failure/that it will go wrong
  2. Focusing on not failing – focusing every best effort on not messing things up
  3. Focusing on succeeding – focusing on what you/we want to achieve and having a positive expectancy that you/we can do it

Successful leaders, or indeed any high performer will consistently have their psychology at number three!

Over the past twenty years I have worked with cricketers who have gone from not scoring to hitting centuries, with professional footballers badly out of form who have got back to the top of their game, sales people who have regained their ability to exceed their targets and leaders who have moved from commercial failure to success. All of this has been achieved by them changing their thinking and focus, moving them forward to look for and expect success.

In other words, your brain can’t do a don’t so stop trying not to!

To be able to lead others through Brexit successfully, leaders need to first be able to ‘lead’ themselves, to be even more effective, to make the maximum use of the personal resources they have available. The golden key to unlocking this is… their THINKING!

These are ten key questions that when answered honestly can give leaders clarity about areas of personal thinking improvement…

  1. Is your thinking effective for what you want to achieve in the current climate?
  2. What do you think of yourself – do you have the self-image of a top performing leader?
  3. Does your consistent focus create inspiration within you to meet the challenge?
  4. Do you have strong purpose and a clear mental picture of where you want to lead people and the organisation to?
  5. Have you set engaging goals for yourself and the organisation that you positively think about daily?
  6. Do you take full responsibility for leading and the decisions you need to make?
  7. Do you use success based language (your language is the ‘shop window’ to your thinking) that inspires those around you?
  8. Do you regularly visualise your success?
  9. Do you think in ways that manage your emotional state effectively?
  10. Do you understand those that you lead and how well are you influencing their psychology?

For leaders there is high value in regularly reflecting on these questions to ensure they use them as the catalyst for peak leadership performance and driving teams and organisations successfully through recession!

What is it in YOUR THINKING that is contributing to YOUR own particular level of success?