Tag Archives: leadership development coaching

Believe and Achieve

Believe and Achieve

I think we’ve all heard the concept that if you believe it you can achieve it.  Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  Have you ever tried to achieve a goal when you had doubts about your ability to achieve it?  I know I have!

marathon

The first time I ran a marathon, I knew that if I put the time and energy into to training for it, I could achieve my goal of finishing.  During the training process, there were times when I had my doubts.  Was I crazy for thinking I could run 26.2 miles?  During that training process, my confidence slowly grew, step-by-step, as did my conditioning and stamina, completing one long run after another, slowly adding mileage each week.  It was an incredible feeling as my confidence grew during this process to the point that I not only came to believe that I could run and finish a marathon, I knew I could run and finish a marathon.  I definitely prefer the believe and achieve mindset.

Carol Dwek, a psychologist at Stanford University, has quantified and tracked how beliefs shape outcomes.  Dwek identified two types of mindsets:  a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.  A person with a fixed mindset believes that they cannot change their abilities.  A person with a growth mindset believes they can grow and evolve to improve themselves.  In this study, a group of 373 students were followed from the beginning of the seventh grade thru the end of the eighth grade.  Students with a growth mindset experienced a rise in their grade point average while the fixed mindset students grade point average remained the same.  A different study looked at people taking IQ tests.  Those who read an article right before taking the test that stated that IQ scores are changeable (instead of being fixed based on genes) showed improved IQ scores.  Isn’t that remarkable?

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  Effective leaders embrace a growth mindset, and more importantly, instill a growth mindset in others.

www.BillAuxier.com

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Claim Jumper

Claim Jumper

By the early 1850s, the California gold rush had attracted a less desirable crowd made up of crooks, bandits, gamblers and claim jumpers.  They were all there to take advantage of the wealth being discovered.  Laws were non-existent as California wasn’t a state yet.  When a prospector found gold, he was immediately surrounded by other prospectors.  Claim laws had to be established.  In some camps, a claim was only 10 square feet, with each person allowed one claim.  Claims offices were established to patrol mines and settle disputes.  Taking someone else’s claim, or “claim jumping,” was common, most often followed by violence.  Law and order was most often in the hands of the people.  No one appreciated one person staking a claim on land that wasn’t theirs.

ClaimJumper

When a person in a leadership position claims credit that she doesn’t deserve, that’s a modern form of claim jumping, and, just like the gold rush days, no one appreciates it.  On top of that, taking credit for someone else’s work means whoever deserved recognition isn’t getting it; a double whammy!

Sometimes it’s easy to determine if someone is taking credit for someone else’s work, and sometimes it isn’t.  Once I participated in a brain storming session to come up with a name for a new service.  I would have bet $1,000 that the name selected was my idea, but I wasn’t given credit for it, someone else was.  At a minimum, I know I contributed to the name selected and so did everyone else in the room.  Brainstorming by its nature builds on all the ideas thrown out and is a collaborative effort.

Just imagine what a team could accomplish if no one cares who gets the credit.  No one would be protective of “their” idea.  No one would withhold ideas.  Everyone would be aligned to achieve the team’s objective so that the team would get the credit.

Claiming credit not deserved is on Marshall Goldsmith’s list of habits that hold you back.  Marshall recommends that to stop being a credit hog, do the opposite, share the credit.  For one day, write down and keep a list of every time you congratulate yourself on an achievement regardless how big or small it is.  Once you have your list, look at everything on your list and ask yourself, is there any possible way that someone else might deserve the credit for “your” achievement.  Ask yourself this question as you go through your list:  If any of the other people involved in this were looking at this same list, would they give you as much credit as you are claiming for yourself?  Would they give credit to someone else?  The most effective leaders aren’t claim jumpers.

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