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Why leaders need to adopt a gift mindset

A limitless leader learns, unlearns and learns again
Blog 37 Renee

All over the world, organisations know the importance of learning, and therefore invest heavily in formal in-house and external training, mentoring programs and systems to manage the sharing of experiences. It's staggering that analysts estimate that the companies in the Fortune 500 still lose a combined $31 billion per year from employees failing to share knowledge effectively. This has a direct impact on productivity within the organisation. People waste time and resources by 'reinventing the wheel', reliving the mistakes of others and wasting time researching solutions and information to create future success. The 'gift mindset' can be the portal to opening up connection and collaboration by sharing learnings that could be a survival guide for someone else.

With the challenging business landscape becoming more disruptive, with multiple balls in the air to juggle, such as people, change, technology, strategy, hybrid working and constant innovation, it’s no wonder many leaders are just managing their teams instead of leading them.

Many leaders and teams are feeling time-poor, skill-stretched, isolated, adjusting to new ways of working and thinking, and dealing with change at a fast pace. This often results in getting caught up in the 'doing' versus the 'being' that can result in a disconnected and disengaged culture.

A 'limitless leader' learns, unlearns and learns again and 'limitless leadership' begins with self-belief and conviction in authentically wanting to commit to the bigger game. This does not come from external factors, but from your internal compass paving the way to what you project to the outside world. Direction does not always come from up above or your team, parts of it may, but you need to find this, drive it and own it. Adopting the gift mindset opens up communication and deepens commitment, collaboration and connection – all important qualities of any successful leader and organisation.

What is a gift mindset?
Our biggest lessons come through embracing, the challenges and successes we experience in the workplace. When we adopt a gift mindset, we can approach situations with deeper self-awareness, viewing whatever we are faced as an opportunity to learn and progress. Being open to unwrap the gift in any situation changes our thoughts, feelings and therefore the way we approach our tests and triumphs.

Sharing the lessons we learn not only progresses us forward, but also empowers others to create a culture of sharing and openness. By adopting the gift mindset, we get to live our legacy now by creating a culture of purpose, connection and contribution. I strongly believe there needs to be a focus on people, before process and progress.

Vulnerability and courage
The more open we are, the more vulnerable we become, and the more likely others will listen and use our lessons as a survival guide. Brené Brown’s extensive research on vulnerability has bought to light its importance. We need to peel back the layers and understand our fears and feelings – these are connected to every success or challenge we experience.

The future of leadership belongs to the brave and if this means sharing our lessons, we've a compelling reason to do so. Courage is a skill set we need to foster and master, and this needs to start at the top of any organisation.

The benefits of a gift mindset

  • Best practice is shared, and success is replicated
  • An increase in vulnerability leading to deeper interactions and relationships
  • Reinforcement of learnings can build a cadence of accountability to share
  • Deeper trust, respect and a willingness to share
  • Performance can be fast-tracked as lessons are shared in real time
  • Challenges and mistakes are shared, owned and supported
  • Success is shared and not used as a secret weapon
  • Vulnerability and openness are encouraged

How to unwrap a gift mindset
This questioning process can assist unwrapping your gifts:

  • Grow – What key lessons has a particular challenge or success taught you? What gift have you unwrapped? (the 12 gifts are: optimism, change, growth, gratitude, connection, re-energising, courage, curiosity, forgiveness, empathy, resilience or contribution)
  • Integrate – How will you incorporate these lessons into your life and workplace moving forward?
  • Facilitate – What lessons from this gift can you share with your team and when?
  • Transform – How will you know that this gift has transformed you and others?

Creating a gift mindset culture

  • Create a culture where sharing and vulnerability is part of the way you work
  • Access where you sit as a team and organisation and look at others that do this well
  • Review the values of the organisation – is openness a part of this?

How can you foster openness and sharing?
Create collaborative hubs where people share:

  • Win Wednesdays: share a win and how this was achieved.
  • Failure Fridays: unwrap a challenge or a mistake made, share the learnings and support any skill gaps
  • Create a feedback culture: peer and cross divisional
  • Incorporate mentoring and coaching informally

The way we see and understand others in a real sense, is dependent on trust, respect and what we're willing to share. Disclosing our challenges and our successes to others can help create rapport and support deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Think about what challenges you've overcome and how the lessons of these challenges could serve your team and organisation. Reflect on successes and articulate how you achieved these, and encourage others to do the same. Remember, awareness creates acceptance and then the lessons can be clearer to share and action individually and as a team and organisation.

What is the cost of not adopting a gift mindset as a key trait of your leadership?

Who is Renée Giarrusso?
Renée has been a professional certified coach (PCC) since 2006 and is a professional trainer, facilitator and speaker, working with both individuals and teams to unlock inner potential to maximise and realise strengths and capability back on the job. She has designed and run over 3,000 workshop programs and has conducted close to 2,500 coaching sessions. Clients walk away equipped with key enablers and tools to ensure success and feel even more confident, motivated and connected to their teams and their leadership brand. Renée holds a qualification in marketing and business management, is an NLP practitioner, professional coach, advanced iWAM practitioner (motIvational intelligence) and is also a credentialed Strengthscope practitioner. She holds a Diploma and Cert IV in Executive Coaching and a Cert IV in Training and Advanced Presentation skills. She's a member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation) PSA (Professional Speakers Australia) and Thought Leaders Global. Renée published her first book
Limitless leadership in 2016 and contributed to the anthology Leaders of influence in 2018. Her third book Gift mindset was published by Major Street Publishing in March 2021.

– The Coach Place Global

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