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Leadership is a behavior, not a title. One does not magically become a leader with a promotion and a raise. It takes some major internal work and perception shifts to be an effective, successful leader.

The first of these mental shifts is the acknowledgement of one simple truth: we are only in control of ourselves. Once we understand that, the world opens up. When we are in situations of conflict, frustration, difficulty, etc., we can go down two different paths. One path is built on blame or wallowing, while the other is built on understanding. When everything seems to be going wrong, placing blame on others is not productive. We have to take control of what we can take control of and move forward.

Now that we understand the foundation of our internal work, let’s go through the “eight important mental shifts [we] should make immediately” discussed in a great Entrepreneur article by Deep Patel.

  1. “The mindset to live with intention” Life is a series of choices made. If we hope to live a life we are proud of, we have to do so with intention. When we believe in ourselves, we push through every difficult turn and move forward. Focusing on what we want will help move us forward and keep us out of the unnecessary time sucking tendencies. 

  2. “Own your power” We all have a wonderful power within us. It’s what makes us imperfectly, beautifully human. Let’s focus on what makes us great, and smart, and unique rather than focusing on our flaws. It’s our job to take care of ourselves- and self love is a big piece of that. Let’s all agree to empower ourselves by focusing on the inner power within each of us.

  3. “Focus on quality over quantity” Let’s keep things simple here, shall we? Quality is better than quantity. Spending time on the projects that we’re truly excited about, will allow us to be happier in our work. By placing more emphasis on the right people/projects/clients etc., we will see much better results. It’s about being thoughtful in our endeavors– which as you know, is the only thing we can really control.

  4. “Give value to others and stop being self-centered” A leader does not take credit for other people’s work or put their ego above the group. It’s an important mindset shift to think about! How can we make sure we lead with authenticity, compassion, and collaboration? We have to look to others’ perspectives. Ultimately, we all understand the world differently, therefore, our perception of reality will be different as well. By looking to others and taking time to understand a new perspective, we all grow in the end. 

  5. “Understand your worth” While we do have to let go of our ego, it’s vital to recognize our own worth. It does not serve any purpose to constantly play the victim or tear down our own successes. If we can’t celebrate our own successes, how can we celebrate the successes of our people? 

  6. “Think and act big” The big wins do not stem from tiny actions. They arise from a big risk or an innovative idea. We cannot let fear of failure keep us from doing well. By choosing to inspire ourselves and move forward, we get one step closer to our goals every day. 

  7. “See failure as a necessary step toward success” We’ve talked about this quite a few times by now. Failure is a beautiful piece of reality. It allows us to learn and grow and develop. We have to remember to fail forward though. Remember what Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” We have own our mistakes and learn how to adapt.

  8. “Focus on your ‘why’” It all comes down to ‘why.’ If we know why we are working towards something, we will work so much harder for it– especially if we truly care about that ‘why.’ We have to take the time to self-reflect on what are goals are and why we want them. That’s where fulfillment comes in!

It might seem rather daunting to shift an entire way of thinking, but if we commit to working every day at it, we can see incredible change. Impact and innovation starts with us, so let’s go out and be the best we can be!