The Leadership Cornucopia: Succeed With an Abundance Mentality

Richard J BryanBy Richard J. Bryan

Have you ever worked with someone who had a scarcity mentality? In other words, they believed that if someone else was successful then there was less opportunity for them? Their whole belief system was one of winning at all costs even at the expense of friends, colleagues, customers and even family members. They had a win/lose outlook on business and life in general.

Typically, this sort of approach is less successful in the long-run, as it is not conducive to building long term relationships. Other people become turned off by this compulsive will to win regardless of who loses in the process.

It is far more productive all around if, as a leader, you can promote an abundance mentality in the workplace. This helps you and others find creative solutions to problem solving, and is far more motivational for employees and ultimately leads to business growth. How do you do this? Try adopting the following four simple steps in your business:

1) Become a Coach and Mentor – Don’t be so quick to criticize members of your team if they get something wrong or fail at a particular task, but rather view it as a coaching opportunity. If you can become more of a coach and mentor instead of a task-oriented leader, you create an opportunity to grow your people and let them learn from their mistakes. This also makes the team of people working for you more self-sufficient and stronger, thus enabling you to focus on other strategic priorities.

2) Seek Creative Solutions – Encourage your people to come up with creative solutions to business issues. This will empower them to discover new and better ways of doing things that can directly impact the bottom line.

As an example, Peter, a long-time owner of a car dealership, was amazed at how much money was saved when his employees offered to paint the white lines that marked out the 500 car spaces that they had on site. Normally, this simple task would have cost thousands of dollars each year by employing outside contractors to come and paint the lines every six months. However, with his own employees doing the job, not only was it done for half the cost, but they also did a far better job because they had more pride in the task at hand and cared about the work.

3) Encourage Risk-Taking – Encourage your team to take calculated risks and learn from their mistakes. By doing this you send a signal that you want them to think bigger and help to grow the business rather than just sticking with the status-quo.

Not only can this deliver results, but it also creates a culture where looking for new and better ways of doing things is not only encouraged but also rewarded.

You must remember that the first attempt at doing this may not necessarily result in the best solution, but this approach does encourage outside-the-box thinking rather than worrying about being “right” and playing it safe. Allow time for both the leader and the team to get accustomed to this approach.

4) Give Praise and Recognition – It is amazing how something as simple as giving regular praise and recognition can be so effective as a strategy for growing your business. What is even more amazing is how few organizations do this well!

Bob was the General Manager for a large and very successful retail store and he had more than 50 sales people working for him. He maintained that his team was more motivated by winning “Sales Person of the Month” not because of the financial bonus they received, but because of the peer recognition and praise they received from their managers and colleagues. “It is a huge motivator for our team. I am sure that they would like it to be Sales person of the Week so that they could get more recognition!” he said. “I can’t understand why anyone with a team of people working for them wouldn’t do something like this to recognize their top performers.”

So ask yourself what you can do to find ways to give genuine praise and recognition to your own people?

The Bottom Line: A CEO of a multi-billion dollar software company based out of Chicago put it best when asked about the many things that his organization had achieved during the past ten years. He was quick to praise his management team and said, “We take it as a given that you need to have the skills and the experience to come and work as part of our team. Then we look to hire those who have a positive outlook and an attitude of abundance. This is what helped us to grow revenues and profits even during the tough times of the recent economic downturn.”

These four steps are simple, yet can have a profound effect on your business when you apply them consistently.

If you can lead in a way that encourages collaboration then you will build an “abundance mentality” which promotes teamwork and what is best for the organization and its customers. More creative ways of doing things are discovered and a win/win philosophy becomes the norm.

So, how about you? Are you leading with an abundance mentality?

Richard J. Bryan is an international speaker, executive coach and author of the recently released book, Being Frank: Real Life Lessons to Grow Your Business and Yourself. Through his experiences as the 4th Generation CEO in a family-owned business, Richard gained a wealth of knowledge and developed from a micro-manager into a confident leader. Richard uses creative strategies to help organizations make powerful transformations by hiring the right people and forging dynamic teams to dramatically improve performance. For more information, please visit www.richardjbryan.com.