Forward Thinking Leadership: Cultivate a “We” Mindset

If we’re going to successfully grow organizations for the future, we need to take a serious look at the way we manage people and work together. As Einstein saw it, we can’t solve problems using the same level of consciousness with which we created them. So how do leaders create an organization that can thrive and grow today, and sustain itself in the future?

Organizations run by leaders with traditional management mindsets lag behind their forward-thinking competitors in many areas: turnover, morale, productivity, market share, financial stability and profitability. The impact reaches far beyond the workplace and has a boomerang effect. Unhappy employees bring work woes home with them.

Alternatively, forward thinking leaders recognize the importance of people’s welfare. They help people feel fulfilled, individually and collectively, and cultivate a “we” mindset. The process requires diligence, patience and passion.

“We” vs. “Me”

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on future focused books, specifically what neuro-science reveals about social intelligence, the shifts (and disruptions) in technology and perspectives (“we” vs. “me”), and principles that underpin business and life.

Simply put, traditional management approaches that cultivate a “me” mindset devalue people by regarding them as replaceable—nameless resources to be tolerated as long as numbers are met. Such old-school leaders want goals achieved at all costs; if employees somehow benefit, then that’s a bonus.

Alternatively, leaders who cultivate a “we” mindset unite people. They pull together, help each other and excel in innovation and productivity. Companies with the most unified people boast the greatest prosperity.

Cultivating a “we” mindset involves four basic components. In Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family (Portfolio, 2015), Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia write:

  1. Promote value and purpose
  2. Fix the most compelling problems people face
  3. Establish teamwork and family
  4. Connect with people personally

What do you think? How do you cultivate a “we” mindset in your organization? You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here, or on LinkedIn.

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