by Jan 1, 2022Coaching0 comments

In organisations, leaders notice that there are staff members who are able to embrace new challenges as well as disruptions, while there are team members who are reluctant and tend to reject new requests from  their superiors.  Leaders prefer the former attitude rather than the latter due to the ever changing volatile and uncertain business environment.  Leaders want to move forward faster and need a team with the right mindset to support them.


To be of service to these leaders, as their coach, I support them in using a tool called the “Winning Mindset”.  In this simple tool the coach enables the leaders to reflect and distinguish on the behaviour patterns of the team members who embrace challenges willingly, as well the behaviour patterns of the reluctant team members. These behaviour patterns are attributed to their related mindsets.  They can be classified into three as explained further below.


The three attributed Mindsets as commonly referred in the leadership literature are;  the Prisoner Mindset, the Tourist Mindset and the Adventurer Mindset. An observation was made during a leadership workshop, where particpation was critical.  It became obvious that there was significant differences in the behaviour patterns of the participants.


Those who came with a Prisoner Mindset, had apparent behaviours such as these; they kept looking at their mobile phones, they were checking their emails on their lap-tops, they were answering phone calls, they were seen busy walking in and out of the training room.  Eventhough they were physically present, their minds were focussed on their work back at the office. They seemed lost in their thoughts and made little contribution to the group-work during the workshop.  They lacked the drive to contribute as their drive was safeguarded for their ‘real’ work in the office.


Some of the participants had a Tourist Mindset.  This group of participants seemed to lack the drive to initiate the various group-work that was assigned during the workshop.  They adopted a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude.  They made assessments of what the activity of the group-work was, and then made their own decisions on their level of participation in the various activities.  They would participate if they liked that particular activity, or if it was in their comfort-zone or if they could perform the task easily. 


And there was a third group of participants who came with an Adventurer Mindset.  This group embraced the activities with a ‘courageous’ and ‘daring’ attitude. They showed their vulnerability by admitting that they were not sure how to do the task but were willing to step forward to take on the role of leader of the group.  They were willing to make mistakes, willing to try out new tasks and willing to be seen as not knowing.  Whenever a new task was presented to this group, it was observed that they would have a short meeting with their team, share with them the new tasks, asks for feedback and input as to ideas on how to manage the task as well as draw on the talent that was prevalent within the group.  This regular activity of communicating with their team members with the intention of discovery and sharing, enabled the leaders to earn the trust of the team members.  There was a significant energy of cohesiveness, encouragement and willingess to step into the unknown, that was created by this group.   


Through observations, leaders in organisations can build and encourage their team members to adopt and embrace an ‘adventurer’ mindset.  The initial step would be to identify which mindset is prevalent in the individual team members.  This can be done by observing the behaviour patterns.  Once that is done, leaders can now move to the next step of creating awareness for their team members.  These team members will be asked to choose which mindset they would prefer and then the leaders will ask them to share some of the consequences of choosing that mindset.  The leaders’ role is not the change their team members mindset.  Rather the leader will do his best to create an environment where the team members can choose their desired mindset.  According to Seth Godin, “the team members’ choices are voluntary.  Leaders create a new landscape, new opportunities and new options”.