This week we celebrated Passover, the story of the Exodus in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. The biblical story is familiar and its re-telling captivates us year after year.
This year, the questions that arose from it were different for me. On one level it is the story of freedom from physical servitude. As an allegory, I see a story about the ways we enslave ourselves. We imprison ourselves with our mindsets and often unknowingly prevent the possibility for personal liberation from that enslavement.
The story of the Exodus directly relates to leadership and influence.
If you want to strengthen your influence and leadership impact, begin with your current mindset.
Think of a current problem in your work. Examine your mindset currently. What is it?
How is your mindset binding you to repeat familiar patterns over and over?
What sea would you need to cross in order to free yourself?
What mood accompanies your mindset? How long have you had that mood?
What actions have you tried with your mindset and mood? Have they been effective?
Mindset, mood and emotion are inextricably linked. Together they often keep us locked in behaviors that don’t produce our desired results.
Worse yet, we don’t often examine our mindset or mood. They are often “hidden” to us. We believe that is “just the way things are.” Repeating these habitual thought and behavior patterns keeps us from moving forward. These mindset shackles, if held long enough, often produce moods of resignation or even resentment. In those moods, it is impossible to see new courses of action that may be empowering and productive.
One example of a quick and liberating mindset shift happened last evening with a class participant who is starting a new business.
Her first words were “I am not really working like everyone else.” My coach radar went up immediately. Her mindset was that because she wasn’t yet producing revenue as an entrepreneurial leader, she wasn’t truly “working.” She began losing confidence, feeling under-valued, and overwhelmed. She was in a mood of resignation. She couldn’t see possibilities to move forward.
When I asked her about her mindset, the awareness that it was a mindset happened immediately. She then realized her mindset was keeping her in a mood of resignation and that change was possible. We explored a new mindset, one in which she believed that as the founder of a new business she was putting in sweat equity for a payout in the future. She realized she really was working and that revenue had simply not caught up yet.
She started to have a Mindset Shift!
Her mood began to shift from resignation towards enthusiasm. With that she felt optimistic and energized. Now she was thinking like an expansive, creative, entrepreneurial leader. At this point, she saw an action she could take this week that would move her towards her bigger vision right away. She got “unstuck!”
I hope this illustration prompts you to think about making an exodus of your own this week. Escape from a mindset that isn’t currently serving you towards one that is.
If you want to join a like-minded community of learners on this liberating journey toward effective and inspired leadership, join our next class beginning April 30. Post your comments here.