Ten Leadership Shifts that Change Everything


Self-inflicted frustrations defeat when leaders won’t adapt to new circumstances. Leaders want to change circumstances rather than changing themselves.

Seizing opportunities requires shifts in thinking, attitude, behavior, and responsibility. The greater the opportunity the greater the necessary shift.

Persistent hard work exacerbates frustration until shifts occur.

Frustrations prevail where shifts are resisted.

Top ten leadership shifts:

  1. Me to we – humility.
  2. Doing to delegating – letting go.
  3. Talk to action – initiative.
  4. Answers to questions – curiosity.
  5. Problems to solutions – optimism.
  6. Past to future – forward focus.
  7. Control to release – trust.
  8. Avoiding to addressing – courage.
  9. Urgent to important – priorities.
  10. Receiving to giving – service.

More on talk to action:

Someone needs to remind all leaders that talking isn’t doing. Set limits on discussion time and call for action. Ask, “Is there any reason we can’t decide right now?”

Address hesitations directly in consensus situations. Don’t simply delay when someone says, “I’m not comfortable.” Ask:

  1. On a scale of one to ten, how uncomfortable are you?
  2. How comfortable do you need to be?
  3. How can we help you get to your number?

If hesitant teammates insist they need more time, ask how much.

Leaders move issues forward. If you aren’t moving forward you’re falling behind.

More on answers to questions:

Ask questions.

Stop pressuring yourself to have answers.

The desire to isolate from others often comes from avoiding people with questions.

Find answers with, not for.

The more answers you give the fewer suggests you receive.

Which shift is most important to you?

What leadership shifts can you add?

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