Beliefs are Views: What is your Leadership Lens?

Have you ever wondered why some people are able to consistently deliver an outstanding performance, while others are seemingly unable to achieve ?excellence?? My experience has shown that achieving?high performance?has less to do with your physical or cognitive abilities, and more to do with your emotional state.? High performance is mostly related to what you think about?because that is connected to what you feel which impacts what you will do.? Your thoughts, of which beliefs are a huge part, impact?the energy you need to keep moving toward your goals, and surpass them.? It is no secret that many exceptional athletes spend a significant portion of their training time, preparing their minds.

Life doesn?t ?just happen? to you.? You, in fact, are in much more control over your experience than seems obvious at first glance.? By becoming more aware of your thought patterns, you can learn how they influence your behaviour choices and ultimately, how others perceive and respond to you.? I like to think about the connection in this way:? Beliefs impact Energy (feeling), which affects Behaviour, which in turn influences Outcome (result).

Let?s look at an example.? Imagine that a job opportunity has just been posted in your organization.? You think that you will not be successful in the application process and that all of your effort in putting together a resume and researching the job will surely be wasted (Belief).? You begin to feel de-motivated (Energy).? Since you doubt that you will be successful, you put little effort into putting your resume together and you do not even bother researching the job further (Behaviour).? The end result is that you don?t get the job (Outcome).? This cycle is commonly referred to as a self-fulfilling prophecy; your predisposed beliefs affect your energy (feeling) and your behaviour so much that you end up creating the very experience that, in this case, you did NOT want.? The same can be true for an example in the reverse.? Imagine that you are thinking that you have a very good chance at the promotion, that you have worked hard and have demonstrated your competency and worth to the organization (Belief).? You will likely feel confident and motivated (Energy) and will put extra effort into preparing your resume and getting ready for the interview by conducting extra research into the job (Behaviour).? You will also most assuredly have a better chance at getting an interview, and will perform better in the interview with this frame of mind (Outcome).? Even if you do not get the promotion, you will have a top notch resume ready to go, you will have performed well for the interviewers, and you will have learned more about yourself and the job opportunities in your organization; all of which will contribute to increasing your success in the future.

My current work allows me to meet a variety of people from all walks of life; ranging from executives and professionals in private and public organizations to at-risk youth in an employment program.? Over the last 15 years, I have carefully watched those who are considered ?star? performers in their organizations.? From those observations and from my own experience, I have noticed that certain personal beliefs impact a person?s ability to achieve high performance.? Anyone can incorporate these beliefs into their own life if they wish, by assuming them to be true.? They are:1) Beliefs about Performance: Excellent performers believe that people will do the best they can, make the best decision/choice they can, given the information and resources available to them at the time.? This way, when people do not perform as you expect, you will not be stuck in blaming or anger, neither of which are useful to you or the other person; but you will be free to seek positive solutions and actions to move toward the performance desired.? 2) Beliefs about Opportunity: The most resilient and creative individuals believe that even with big problems, there are positive opportunities available.? 3) Beliefs about Ownership: Individuals performing at high levels believe that each person is responsible for his or her own experience; I am responsible for my own thoughts, feelings and behaviour; and you are for yours.? 4) Beliefs about Reciprocity: High performance requires a belief that you get what you give.? When you think about it this way, if you are not GETTING something that you want, rather than looking outside of yourself, look inside at what you are GIVING. 5) Beliefs about Feedback: Maintaining high performance requires that you get feedback from others about how they are experiencing you.? Think about each of the beliefs outlined above.? When people give you feedback about your performance (1), you know that you performed your best given the information and resources available to you at the time.??? This will cue you to the fact that you have an incredible opportunity (2) for learning; you will be curious and inquiring about the specifics of the feedback information.? You will also be able to avoid defensiveness (when the feedback is ?negative?) or unreasonable ego-inflation (when the feedback is ?positive?) because you will know that the person giving the feedback has ownership (3) over the information.? They are really telling you about their definitions of good or bad; about their values and beliefs about performance.? That, of course, does not diminish the value of the feedback; you simply realize that the ownership for the feedback lies with the person providing it.? Reciprocity (4) means that since you believe in getting what you give; when you give feedback to others you apply these same beliefs to your delivery.? This will affect how receptive others are to hearing feedback from you, a requirement for building solid interpersonal relationships.You really can ?change your mind?, and change your life.? Altering, or re-programming, a previously limiting pattern can create new opportunities for achieving high performance.? Deliberate focus on altering limiting beliefs and changing them into more enabling beliefs, can create opportunities for new personal patterns?and new results!

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