Unravelling Mindsets: A Fresh Perspective on Leadership – Part Three




Building upon our previous discussions in ‘Unmasking Self-Deception: Overcoming the Hidden Barrier to Effective Leadership’ and ‘Leadership and Self-Deception: Part Two – Unearthing the Hurdle to Organisational Change’, we’re set to further explore the concept of leadership from a new viewpoint. The term ‘self-deception’ has been at the core of our discourse, often provoking a bit of unease due to its implication of skewed self-perception and bias. To broaden this dialogue, we’ll venture into the concept of ‘inward/outward mindsets’.


Inward vs. Outward Mindsets: An Introduction

The ‘inward/outward mindset’ model provides a fresh lens to view how leaders perceive and interact with their environments. An inward mindset is centred predominantly around personal goals, potentially overlooking our impact on others. In contrast, an outward mindset fosters a broader perspective – it involves appreciating the objectives, needs, and challenges of others, and adapting our efforts to yield mutual benefits.


The Influence of an Inward Mindset on Leadership

An inward mindset, whilst not intrinsically negative, can inadvertently construct barriers to effective leadership and organisational transformation. Leaders with a leaning towards an inward focus might develop resistance to change, become less receptive to feedback, and attribute challenges to external circumstances, thereby impeding growth.


Fostering an Outward Mindset

Transitioning from an inward to an outward mindset can spark a significant positive shift in a leader’s effectiveness. Here are some strategies to nurture an outward mindset (they are a refresher on tips we previously provided):

  • Develop Self-Awareness: Digging into our own thoughts, emotions, and behaviours is the first step to recognise an inward mindset and work towards a more outward perspective.

  • Embrace Vulnerability: Admitting our limitations, seeking feedback, and being open to assistance can help redirect focus from self to others.

  • Practice Active Listening: Active listening and empathy are integral to understanding the needs and motivations of others, thereby fostering an outward mindset.

  • Foster a Learning Culture: Establishing an environment that values learning, experimentation, and adaptability encourages an outward focus, where change is embraced as an opportunity rather than a threat.


Regardless of whether we speak of ‘self-deception’ or ‘inward mindset’, the essence remains the same. As leaders, our perceptions significantly influence our effectiveness. By consciously cultivating an outward mindset, we can foster an inclusive, collaborative, and adaptable culture – an indispensable cornerstone for any organisation aiming to thrive in an ever-changing business landscape.


Stay tuned as we continue to delve deeper into the dynamics of effective leadership in our upcoming posts.

#LeadershipDevelopment #InwardOutwardMindset #OrganisationalChange #ChangeManagement #SelfAwareness #EmbracingVulnerability #ActiveListening #LearningCulture #FutureReadyLeadership

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