The Mind of a Leader

If you really want to know why most new leaders slip up, it can likely be attributed to their mental state. No, I’m not saying they are a basket case or have mental shortcomings, but what I mean is they just aren’t prepared for the shift in mindset that occurs when going from the position of a regular worker to that of a “leader of workers.”

A regular worker’s success is based on how many sales he/she makes, what answers he/she gets correct, if they are recognized at a company meeting, if they get a commission check, etc. The common denominator in all of this is themselves—what they did and how their personal contribution made an impact on their individual career ladder. It’s not selfishness, necessarily, but simply them performing their job. It’s a natural feeling.

A manager, on the other hand, must think about how their professional actions and achievements impact the entire team. Their role is to bring about the best in others around them. They:

See the Big Picture: They don’t spend time worrying about day-to-day responsibilities or problems, but instead focus on where the organization needs to go.

Groom Confidence in Others: They motivate those around them to achieve their goals. People do more for leaders they respect than they would normally do for others.

Are not self-serving: Unlike the regular employee, they aren’t focused on proving themselves but are instead focused unconditionally on what is best for the organization.

Give Their Team Credit: Managers who lack leadership abilities are always first to take credit. But effective managers understand the importance of crediting their teams for the big wins.

Both managerial and non-managerial roles each play an important part in presenting the most complete package for your company. It all starts with a mental shift and awareness of what is expected from you in your current position.

Good luck!


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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