August 4, 2020

114: The Importance of Mindset for Managers with Ryan Gottfredson

Mindsets are powerful because they deeply impact our view and approach to managing a team. Yet, we are often unaware of the mindsets we hold and how they may be undermining our intent. When you understand a mindset and the fears, desires, and assumptions that it is grounded in, you can better align that mindset with your values and goals.

In this episode, I speak with Ryan Gottfredson. Ryan is a mental success coach and cutting-edge leadership consultant, author, trainer, and researcher. He is the author of “Success Mindsets: The Key to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership,” and a leadership professor at Cal State Fullerton. He has a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Indiana University.

Ryan and talk about what mindsets are and how they impact us as managers, the four typical manager mindsets that might actually be holding you back, how vulnerability comes into play, and how to begin shifting your mindset.

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Read the related blog article: The Four Human Desires that Undermine Great Managers

Key Takeaways:

  • Mindsets are the mental lenses that we wear that shape how we see the world and how we behave.
  • How you approach a situation can make all the difference. Consider what happens when you view someone as not trying vs doing their best.
  • Intention and impact are not the same. A lack of awareness of your own mindsets can lead to negative impact, even if unintentionally.
  • 60% of employees say their manager damages their self esteem.
  • Managers, and humans, typically have four desires that can undermine their ability to be great managers. These desires are (1) to look good, (2) to be right, (3) to avoid problems, and (4) to get ahead.
  • These desires stem from self preservation and are associated with four negative mindsets: (1) fixed, (2) closed, (3) preservation, and (4) inward.
  • We can replace our negative mindsets with positive ones: (1) instead of looking good, seek to grow, (2) instead of being right, seek truth, (3) instead of avoiding problems, aim to achieve goals, and (4) instead of getting ahead, strive to lift others.
  • You must be willing to be vulnerable because in order to develop these success mindsets, at times you will look bad, be wrong, have problems and get past up.
  • When managers struggle with vulnerability, they tend to develop a command and control style. This creates an unhelpful situation where team members are unhappy but don’t feel comfortable speaking up.
  • To become more aware of your mindsets, do the following 4 steps: (1) Identify a goal, (2) Reflect on what you are doing, or not doing, that is inhibiting your from achieving that goal, (3) identify the underlying fears, commitments, and assumptions, are holding you back, and (4) connect these to the negative mindsets or desires so that you can begin shifting them.
  • When you are aware of your negative mindset, you can begin to change your outlook and therefore your behavior.


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