15 Powerful Shifts that Transform Leadership

Know-it-alls are completely predictable. They don’t change. Those who already know never develop new skills, embrace new ways of thinking, or grow as leaders.

Everyone who grows changes.

Everyone who changes behaves differently today from yesterday.

Belief that we will change in the future produces humility today.


The danger of real learning is it can’t be isolated. It changes things. Learning and adopting a strength-based approach to leadership, for example, infiltrates nearly all of organizational life.

Learning validates some behaviors and debunks others. In other words, leaders who grow change the way they lead. What was “right” yesterday ends up “wrong” tomorrow.

15 shifts in thinking:

Here are some shifts leaders commonly experience.

I used to think leadership was about ______, now I think it’s about ________.

  1. What you did; who you are.
  2. Power; integrity.
  3. Data; culture.
  4. Me; us.
  5. Telling; showing.
  6. Knowledge; wisdom.
  7. Bossing; serving.
  8. Power; humility.
  9. Managing; inspiring.
  10. Authority; love.
  11. My skill; their development.
  12. Position; mission.
  13. Government; community.
  14. Instructing; constructing.
  15. Telling; listening.

See the entire list on Facebook.

Two personal shifts:

My biggest shift in thinking centers on development. The leaders priority is self-development. You inevitably fall short if you don’t develop yourself. I’m not endorsing selfish, self-indulgent living.

The point of self-development is effective service.

The second shift in thinking is from getting things done myself to developing people who get things done.

Press though anyway:

If change means what was “right” today may be “wrong” tomorrow, what’s a leader to do. There is only one answer. Move forward on your highest point of confidence with humility. Realize you may learn something tomorrow that changes you. I hope so.

The danger of investing in today’s knowledge is the need to defend it tomorrow.

What shifts in thinking have changed your leadership?