According to the Harvard Business Review[1], organisations spend approximately $356 billion on leadership development efforts, yet fewer than 25% of organisations believe their efforts are effective.

That’s a lot of hard-earned money being wasted on programs that do not address a fundamental skill often lacking in leaders, mindset. Mindset is an attribute that is foundational to how leaders act, think, learn and behave; it is the trait that defines their ability to make sense of information, to act and navigate the challenges that they face. In many ways, mindset is the optic through which leaders define their efforts.

If we think back across our career, we can all identify examples of leaders who, through their mindset, have missed out on opportunities and created challenges for their business.

What would have happened if the leaders of Blockbuster had seen Netflix as an opportunity rather than a threat? What would have happened if leaders in media companies had seen the growth of digital consumption as an opportunity to grow rather than choosing to defend a dying business model? What if the taxi industry has decided to improve services and invest in technology and customer experience rather than trying to fight Uber in the courts? History is littered with examples of organisations that have failed because their leadership mindset has set a direction that was at odds with what was required at the time.

The trouble with mindset as a focus for many organisations is that it is perceived as a bit fluffy, a little lightweight, and maybe something trivialised, especially in industries that value technical excellence above emotional intelligence. Think about engineering, construction, resources, and medical sectors where it is not easy to succeed without exceptional technical understanding. Maybe that is why in many technical organisations, leaders are promoted due to technical excellence, not necessarily because they have the skills to lead.

At BEyond Excellence, our goal is to work with organisations to unlock positive mindsets in leaders, mindsets that drive growth, build resilience, create change and implement transformation.

And it works. Tailored training programs that unlock leadership mindsets with organisations deliver a return on investment.

From 2001-2014, Microsoft’s market capitalization and stock price largely stayed the same. But, in 2014, when Satya Nadella took over, he made it his mission to revamp the leadership and the culture at Microsoft. In his book, Hit Refresh, Nadella explains that mindsets– particularly growth mindsets– were his primary focus when revamping Microsoft. With this leadership, the company’s market capitalization and stock price has more than tripled.[2]

Suddenly, the concept of mindset seems a little less fluffy, a little less trivial, and a lot more inspirational and aspirational. But above all, what we know at BEyond Excellence is that the leaders who choose to change, choose to unlock the potential of their people are the ones who pick up the phone and contact us to develop a leadership training program that truly transforms those who participate and the future of their organisation.

[1] https://hbr.org/2020/01/to-be-a-great-leader-you-need-the-right-mindset

[2] https://hbr.org/2020/01/to-be-a-great-leader-you-need-the-right-mindset

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