Changing Your Mind to Change Your Leadership


It’s a funny thing, when we are willing and open to change how we think about things; life (and leadership) can change for the better. The trick is knowing when you are stuck in your thinking and noticing what changes you need to make.

What possibilities might come your way if you opened up and considered changing your mind to some of the things you are saying never to? Here are some of my personal favorite changes of mind that turned into cherished realities:

I vowed to never become married or have children. I was a career woman, after all. No time for kids. Yet falling in love with my husband-to-be led to falling in love with the idea of completing our family and increasing our blessings with two of the most amazing daughters anyone could ask for. Now I have wonderful sons-in-law that are a part of our family too. None of that would have happened if I’d stuck to my “never”.

I would never start a business. My husband owns a small business, and I felt that my corporate career provided a stable, steady income and benefits. That is, until the big fish company bought out the smaller fish company I worked for. My boss encouraged me from the moment of the announcement to start looking for another job immediately, because the work we were doing was vulnerable. I trusted her wisdom and soon discovered the path to my calling – and I’ve been happier in my own business than I’ve ever been. “Never” turned into possibility, reality, and joy.

How many times have you said, ” I will never (fill in the blank here)” and at some point a personal evolution brought you to the point where you “Never” became “Reality”? I’m pretty sure you can look back on your life and see how your life – and leadership – changed when you changed your mind because:

You were impatient or frustrated with what was happening in your life at that time. Frustration, although it may be triggered from the outside world, is often a sign that you need to change something. Consider your “nevers” – do you need to change your thinking about any of them?

You were open to signals that your thinking was limiting you in some way. This required noticing your thoughts and being present to the external indicators that might be urging you to change your views. What are you noticing now?

You fell in love with something. As a leader who wants to achieve, perhaps you fell in love with the idea of learning to inspire others, or the idea of servant leadership. You couldn’t help yourself; you had to move forward.

You took action after changing your thinking about things you said you’d never do to considering them as possibilities. You were so moved to action that you felt like you had no choice.

Take a look at your impatience, stay open, notice when you fall in love, and take action. Do you have examples of times you’ve changed your mind and changed your leadership?



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Mary Jo Asmus is the founder and President of Aspire Collaborative Services LLC, an executive coach, writer, internationally recognized thought leader, and a consultant who partners with organizations of all kinds to develop and administer coaching programs. She has “walked in your shoes” as a former leader in a Fortune company.


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