Leadership is…Developing the Right Mindset

People often talk about “leadership skills.” But as a leader, your mindset is more important than your skillset. You can be one of the most skilled people in the world but if your mind is not right you will never be more than a yo-yo in the world of leadership. You work your way to success and then fall down, and then crawl back up only to fall back down. How do I know this? Because experienced this exact thing for many years.

One day while visiting in Paris, I saw the power of a strong mindset. I had planned to meet a friend of mine downtown; we had agreed to meet at a store that he wanted to visit. In order to understand this story, it’s important that I point out that at the time that this story took place, I had seen financial success in my career and felt confident from a financial standpoint.  

As I entered the store I realized it was the Paris flagship store of a famous designer. I looked around to find my friend, but he wasn’t there yet so I decided to shop around. I came across a shirt I liked and asked the store clerk if I could try it on. He looked at me and said, “Yes, but let’s not open it from this package. Let’s go get this one that has already been opened.”

I could tell the by way he was looking at me he that thought there was no way I belonged there. Not wanting to cause him trouble and a little miffed at his cool treatment, I told him I didn’t need to try it on after all and would just wait in front of the store for my friend to arrive. As I waited for my friend, I initially felt annoyed at the clerk for judging me but soon softened my feelings as I realized he probably had dozens of unpackaged shirts in the backroom that tourists who looked just like me had been trying on all morning.

Then an important thing happened, after ten minutes of waiting, my friend arrived. He strolled through the front doors like he owned the place. And you know what is funny? The people in the store immediately responded like he owned the place. He asked to try on a shirt. I stood aghast as the clerk ceremoniously ripped a new shirt out of the packaging and helped him try it on. I was shocked! I was the wealthier individual and yet my friend was being treated as if he were a celebrity! How did he do this? They responded to his mindset.

After we left the store, I confronted him and asked how he did it. In that moment, he taught me a very important lesson: His mindset was bigger than my mindset! You can gain new skills but you won’t be able to use them effectively unless your mindset is right.

As you work to increase your financial worth, I hope you also work on improving the value of your mindset. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have the right perspective, you might not be able to feel comfortable in it. Approach the world from a place of success, and you’ll be surprised how the world responds to you.



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