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How a Leader's Beliefs Drive Results

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 11, 2009

It’s been said that "thoughts are things." As a leader, it’s critical to be aware and mindful of your thoughts, as they drive the results you get.

For example, I worked with an executive who runs an entrepreneurial consulting firm and is an excellent and highly in-demand speaker for professional groups. Speaking engagements lead to more business, yet her firm’s financial results were disappointing. As we drilled down on the problem, I discovered that she had a drawer full of business cards from her speaking engagements—cards given to her by audience members who said "call me." She threw the cards in the drawer and didn’t follow up. Going further in our coaching work, I learned that her core belief about sales is that it is, in her words, "like prostitution."

If you were like her and believed selling your wares was prostitution, then you’d likely feel disengaged or discouraged at the prospect of doing it. The resulting action would be, well, inaction: Your sales would suffer, and negative financial results would be your outcome, too. Bottom line, her core belief about sales was causing her poor results and her company was going nowhere.

In short, what you believe leads to how you feel, which in turn drives the actions you take (or avoid), which are then directly responsible for the results you get. So it follows that when you replace your low-yield beliefs with higher-performing ones, the results you get must change, too. Frankly, that’s why I spend so much time in my executive coaching work talking about self-awareness. It’s not done as some form of mental gymnastics or psycho-strength training. It’s much more tangible than that. Your beliefs are at the helm, driving what you achieve.

Your thoughts are things—they create the future you are about to experience.

Your bottom line, then, will be happier when you make it a regular practice to review the positive and negative results you are getting and ask yourself what beliefs are driving them? How do these beliefs make you feel? What actions are you taking or not taking as a result? What, then, needs changing?

Know yourself, and your employees, clients, investors, and other stakeholders will benefit.

David Peck
Executive Coach and President
Leadership Unleashed
Palm Springs, Calif.

Reader Comments

Nancy Branton

August 11, 2009 11:26 PM

Great article!

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