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Leadership Within

To get any project done right, you need the right tools. Coaching helps leaders develop the right tools for the right moment, foundational and visionary. In coaching, as with any other learning process, results are shaped by intention, the design of learning, what you move toward, and what you're willing to do differently. If we are unwilling to do something different, to become someone different, how can we expect different results? Change begins within. Doing something different includes seeing things differently, seeing from a new perspective. Part of this change is learning to look again at what we thought we knew.

If we want to develop leaders, we need to be clear on what we mean by leader. What makes a leader? It is a question that has been studied for decades but not well answered. Leadership is a set of qualities and characteristics formed within each of us and practiced in group and organizational settings.

An ideal leader is well balanced, with personal awareness, people skills, and a love for learning, knowledge in business, systems thinking, and other fields, all of these qualities, framed in confidence, humility, and wisdom. At Mindshift, we help leaders see themselves and their organizations differently. To see ourselves and the world differenly takes a willingness to look again, to see each person, each issue, and each moment freshly, and to challenge our own assumptions about virtually everything.

As part of my personal development (Hans), I practice Zen. In Zen, this way of seeing things is referred to as "beginner's mind", seeing the world with fresh eyes and seeing people in the moment rather than seeing their old stories. Like the path of Zen, developing leadership qualities is a practice, something you do every day of your life, mindfully paying attention to your thoughts and behaviors and how they affect you and others. To practice Zen is to live each moment with beginner’s mind, innocent and open, curious, seeing just what is there. To practice leadership is no different. If your mind is clear, it is always ready and open to anything. "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's, few" ― Shunryu Suzuki. The reasoning in this statement is that once you believe you are an expert at anything, you’ve closed your mind to new information, to some degree. You’re no longer tuned in, listening, observing, for anything new that you may learn. [Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash]

As former MIT professor and foundational thought leader Edgar Schein said about organizations: leadership and culture are two sides of the same coin [Article]. An organization is a reflection of the values and beliefs of its leadership and its members. We know that the degree of congruency between the values and beliefs of an organization's leaders and of its members, correlates with the power of an organization’s culture. The more they differ, the more cultural dissonance and the less productivity. Our leadership programs include learning about organizational culture.

Our leadership services include the following areas, as well as customized learning: