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Marie was making big things happen in her new role. Clients loved her fresh approach and were delighted with the results that she produced. But, she was beset by a raft of problems when the pieces of the organisation jigsaw puzzle were thrown into the air. She had a new boss and her position and the remuneration she had been promised were now in question. Internal politics were rife, as colleagues competed with her for resources and attention. She was constantly worried and privately questioned whether she was cut out to do her job.
When she stepped back and assessed her response to the challenges she faced, she realised that she was taking things personally that were not personal. Anyone in her position would face the same challenges. Instead of doubting if she would cope with what she was dealing with, she asked herself the question, “How do I deal powerfully with the challenges I face?” It was a subtle mindset shift, but it allowed her to respond in a way that made all the difference.
The question prompted her to focus on what was important; her vision and progress toward it. She persuaded her team to similarly focus on outcomes. They produced outstanding results that the clients loved, so much so that her boss acknowledged just how important she was for the business. He offered her a great new role and she successfully renegotiated her salary package. The internal politics of envy still swirled around her but she was no longer troubled by it, knowing that her results spoke volumes.
When you are a game-changing leader, you can’t always control how things will turn out, but you can control how you respond. Carol Dweck suggests in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, that people with a fixed mindset will see challenges as obstacles, but those with a growth mindset have a passion for learning and will embrace challenges.
We all have the opportunity to choose our response when facing the inevitable challenges life throws at us. One way to react is to adopt a growth mindset and ask the question that Marie asked; “How do I deal powerfully with the challenges I face?”