A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu
This presentation is not intended as an academic overview but is grounded in the world of the organisation. It will suggest that our current drive to understand what leadership is and to ascertain all those leadership variables, which are seen by different researchers and practitioners as essential knowledge, has led us too far in the wrong direction.
Our over emphasis on academic research and knowledge based learning may have caused some of the issues relating to leadership. The need to explore the minutiae of leadership has led to a myriad of leadership descriptions, traits, attributes, characteristics and principles that has become a meaningless taxonomy of words or ideas. Knowing about leadership through a mass of descriptive words is vastly different from ‘being’ a leader and ‘doing’ leadership. Linking some of those words into different leadership styles is often not helpful as it generates a range of leadership behaviors that once again loses its meaning through its complexity and makes it virtually impossible to apply.
The answer to good or even great leadership may lie not in seeking and understanding those variables, but in something which sits at the very core of who we are and how we operate as a human being. If we can understand how all of us operate as people in a simple and intuitive way, then we can apply this core understanding not only to personal performance but to leadership and organisational performance.
The result we have from years of research and practical applications I will share with you is a simple map – the Mind Fit Map®
Graham Williams, the architect of Mind Fit was part of the John Whitmore Team of Performance Consultants in the 1990’s and Mind Fit was born from a curiosity to understand why leadership development and performance coaching achieved mixed and often poor results.
Today, we term people who operate from a ‘Can-Do’ mindset as Mind Fit.
Put simply, it’s choosing to be the best we can be.
The Starting Point The process to becoming Mind Fit starts with the concept of Behavioral WasteTM – “Can’t-Do” and “Won’t-Do” attitudes – and whilst we would like to think we don’t have any, our process soon breaks that myth.
The Mind Fit Process is still evolving and yet the logic behind the process is simple. You cannot build a house without foundations; neither can you expect a person to perform or lead to their best without being Mind Fit. Otherwise, any intervention to develop people will not be sustainable. The evidence for this can be found in any organisation following educational training.
The Mind Fit approach seeks to change this knowledge learning approach in a simple and practical way. It provides people with insights, a map and methods used to increase their Mind Fitness and that of others, through a process of self-assessment. It is then linked to actions back in the workplace. These insights, when linked to the relevant and usable knowledge, give people the ‘know-how’ and the ‘know-what’ to revolutionize their performance and enable them to give of their best. And that includes leaders.
The four big ideas that I will be share with you are:
The importance of using the whole brain and not just the cognitive part
The power of using natural (implicit) learning as well as educated (explicit) learning
How to identify personal strengths and develop new ones and turn them into actions
A Personal Profile Map® which will enables people to self-assess and make choices
Neville also explains the importance of four global strengths: The Mind Fit Feedback Loop
What’s the impact on an organisation?
The Mind Fit process results in leaders, who know how to inspire, involve and engage their team. As a result people ‘grow’ and develop into engaged staff that willingly perform. All they need to carry with them as a guide, whether as leaders or as team members, is not a head full of theories but one map, three operating states and four identities.