Never has there been a more important time for effective leadership.
And not just providing leadership for others, but providing for ourselves and our families.
Regardless of your professional title or role, every single one of us is a leader, whether formally or informally.
In order to lead ourselves and others amidst challenge, change and uncertainty, a positive “shift” in thinking is required to find opportunities to persevere. To envision setbacks as set ups. To think differently about struggle so we can develop strength.
The past year and a half, I have witnessed so many extraordinary people and organizations finding and creating opportunity amidst the adverse circumstances surrounding them. In fact, so many have told me that the challenges they faced actually provided them with opportunities they would not have had otherwise.
They weren’t pivoting. Rather, they were shifting their thinking. And while listening to their stories, I discovered common principles that exemplified their actions and mindsets.
So I began crafting a new signature keynote that is designed to help others do what they’ve done too —- to grow through adversity proactively rather than just go through it reactively. To find success amidst uncertainty. To lead despite difficult circumstances.
And this birth of a new keynote presentation titled, “Becoming a ShiftThinker,” is outlined below in 4 principles that are timeless, universal and can be applied in any area of our lives where positive change is needed.
I’ll break these principles down so you can consider which ones are most helpful and needed for you right now.
Even the smallest shifts can produce the most massive results.
* Reach out to me directly if you’d like to explore me presenting this new keynote for an internal training, upcoming conference or other type of event. Inquire here or at https://www.kevincsnyder.com/hire-kevin.
ShiftThinker™ Principle #1: Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
What you and I have in common is the extraordinary adversity we’ve faced this year. But even though the world seems full of adversity, it’s also full of overcoming it as well.
And whereas some people find themselves stuck, others find opportunities to grow.
Just like this seed you see in the image below. Even though it didn’t have the most ideal of circumstances to grow, it still had the potential.
You and I are no different than this seed. You see, adversity doesn’t define us. Rather, it refines us and still provides opportunities for us to grow.
So it becomes a choice whether we just go through something difficult and endure it, or grow through it and find ourselves in a better place.
Developing and applying a growth mindset is not easy. It’s a mental muscle that needs to be practiced over time. It’s crucial though because a growth mindset enables us to grow individually regardless of circumstance. A growth mindset also moves organizations forward despite challenges and adverse circumstances.
On the contrary, a fixed mindset is complacent and settles for the status quo. It loves comfort and resists change, hoping things always stay the same.
Organizations with fixed mindset cultures soon become reactive, irrelevant and obsolete. Then they wonder, “What happened?” Enter Kodak, Blockbuster and SONY.
On the contrary, growth mindset cultures make things happen. They constantly seek ways to improve and grow. A growth mindset is the type of mindset that sees setbacks as setups and change as opportunities – even unexpected, forced upon change and disruption.
Insights from my experience providing leadership training to over 1,000,000 people and over 1,150 organizations across our great country is that we can change without growth, but we cannot grow without change.
I do not believe people fear change. Rather, they fear the uncertainty that change represents.
Therefore, it is the duty of a leader (noun) of any organization in any industry, to lead (verb) its people to shift their thinking toward a growth mindset that helps them become responsible for change rather than just being responsive to it.
ShiftThinker™ Principle #2: Think Differently to Achieve New Results
Einstein literally defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different result. Well, certainly all of us have been forced to think differently in ways never expected.
It’s the organizations who thrive – with or without a pandemic – who constantly think differently and try new “outside the box” ideas. They understand that the best way to get outside the box is not to have a box to begin with. All these mental boxes do is limit our beliefs and push us into a comfort zone.
Whereas most people are zooming IN these days, a think differently mindset empowers us to zoom OUT and constantly reflect and re-examine new approaches.
Think differently is not about pivoting either. Pivoting is one of the most overused and destructive words of the year.
Think about it … all pivoting means is anchoring your foot in the ground and moving in circles. Instead of pivoting, what we really need to do is think differently. Only then can we adapt, transform, and evolve.
I am so passionate about the think differently concept that I wrote an entire book on it. You can download your FREE copy on my website homepage, www.KevinCSnyder.com.
ShiftThinker™ Principle #3: Envision the N.O. (New Opportunity)
When some hear “NO,” they take that rejection at face value and accept it. But when ShiftThinkers hear “NO,” they envision “New Opportunity.”
Roger Bannister is one of my favorite examples exemplifying this “N.O.” mindset. In 1954, he became the first person to break the 4-minute mile. Prior to his amazing accomplishment, people doubted him and said he was crazy. He was given “NO” after “NO” after “NO.” However what he heard was, “New Opportunity.”
Since 1954, thousands of others have also broken the 4-minute mile – which was once assumed to be humanly impossible – all because one person, Roger Bannister, showed them it was possible.
So next time you hear “NO” or “Well, that won’t work,” that might just be an indication you are on the right track. If it’s never been done before, that’s exactly why you should do it.
ShiftThinkers understand that when you care deeply about something, you do not have to be pushed. Rather, the vision pulls you. This is what envisioning new opportunities is all about.
For me personally, living my dream of meeting Bob Barker on The Price is Right exemplifies envisioning the NO.
Despite others telling me that my dream was silly and that it would never happen, I envisioned it would. And it did.
If you’ve heard me present, you’ve likely heard this story. It’s 10 minutes of stand up comedy wrapped in inspiration and entertainment.
When we have a sincere vision for something we desire to accomplish, it becomes only a matter of time. We work backward from the vision to manifest it into reality.
And if a young boy diagnosed with depression at just 12 years old (i.e. me) can live his dream by envisioning new possibility, than you can too. Anyone can.
ShiftThinker™ Principle #4: Action Changes Things (A.C.T.)
Quite simply, vision without action is merely a daydream.
The challenge with A.C.T.ion is that it requires risk and possibly making mistakes. And frankly, sometimes knowing exactly what action to take is not clear. But choosing not to act is still a choice.
In order to persist, to make progress and to find the right strategy, action is required. The byproduct of action then becomes wisdom, experience and skill. Therefore, in order to achieve and be great at anything, we must take A.C.T.ion. And even if we fail, we fail forward with lessons “earned.”
People say failure is tough. Well, success is tougher because that means action was taken through the fear and failure.
Ever been skydiving? If not, envision jumping out of a perfectly good plane! I have my Advanced Free Fall certification (AFF), which means I have jumped quite a bit and have met hundreds of other skydivers along the way. I’ve never met a skydiver who did not have doubt and second thoughts while taking their first jump… but the difference is that they felt the fear and did it anyway.
Do you think their mind shifted after landing? Absolutely … and they wanted to do it again! Skydiving teaches us to take action through the fear, because A.C.T.ion changes things. And the more we push ourselves to feel uncomfortable, the more comfortable we will feel doing it again afterward.
Every successful person has had to jump at some point in their life. It’s what separates a ShiftThinker from a naysayer. And it we don’t jump we will never know. Our parachute never has the chance to open.
There are times we need to push. There are times we need to be pushed. And there are certainly times we need to take fearless action and jump.
What’s holding you back? Ready to jump? Ready to dream … BIG?
Ready to become a ShiftThinker?
The principles might appear simple, but remember, it is not what we know, it is what we apply. And when it’s most required is when it’s most difficult.
If you found value in this content and would like to request a presentation for an upcoming training event, conference, etc., simply reach out to me at www.KevinCSnyder.com or at Kevin@KevinCSnyder.com.