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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

CEO Insider

Why a Gift Mindset is a key trait of a limitless leader

With the challenging business landscape becoming more disruptive, with multiple balls in the air to juggle such as people, change, technology, strategy, hybrid working and constant innovation it’s no wonder many leaders are managing their teams instead of leading them. Many leaders and teams are, feeling time poor, skill stretched, isolated, adjusting to new ways of working and thinking and dealing with change at a fast pace. This often results in getting caught up in the “doing” versus the “being” that can result in a disconnected and disengaged culture.

All over the world, organisations know the importance of learning, and therefore invest heavily in formal in-house and external training, mentoring programs and systems to manage the sharing of experiences. It is staggering that analysts estimate that the companies in the Fortune 500 still lose a combined $31 billion per year from employees failing to share knowledge effectively. This has a direct impact on productivity within the organisation. People waste time and resources by reinventing the wheel, reliving the mistakes of others and wasting time researching solutions and information to create future success. The Gift Mindset can be the portal to opening up connection and collaboration by sharing learnings that could be a survival guide for someone else.

A Limitless leader learns, unlearns and learns again and Limitless Leadership begins with self-belief and conviction in authentically wanting to commit to the bigger game. This does not come from external factors but from your internal compass paving the way to what you project to the outside world. Direction does not always come from up above or your team, parts of it may, but you need to find this, drive it and own it. Adopting the Gift Mindset opens up communication and deepens commitment, collaboration and connection, all important qualities of any successful leader and organisation.

What is a Gift Mindset?

Our biggest lessons come through embracing, the challenges and successes we experience in the workplace. When we adopt this mindset, we can approach situations with deeper self-awareness, viewing whatever we are faced as an opportunity to learn and progress. Being open to unwrap the gift in any situation changes our thoughts, feelings and therefore the way we approach our tests and triumphs.

Sharing the lessons, we learn not only progresses us forward but also empowers others and can create a culture of sharing and openness. By adopting the Gift Mindset, we get to live our legacy now by creating a culture of purpose, connection and contribution. I strongly believe there needs to be a focus on people, before process and progress.

Vulnerability and courage 

The more open we are, the more vulnerable we become, and the more likely others will listen and use our lessons as a survival guide. Brené Brown’s extensive research on vulnerability has bought to light its importance. We need to peel back the layers and under- stand our fears and feelings – these are connected to every success or challenge we experience.

The future of leadership belongs to the brave and if this means sharing our lessons, we have a compelling reason to do so. Courage is a skill set we need to foster and master and this need to start at the top of any organisation.

The benefits of a Gift Mindset:

  • Best practice is shared, and success is replicated
  • An increase in vulnerability leading to deeper interactions & relationships
  • Reinforcement of learnings can build a cadence of accountability to share
  • Deeper trust, respect and a willingness to share
  • Performance can be fast tracked as lessons are shared in real time
  • Challenges and mistakes are shared, owned and supported
  • Success is shared and not used as a secret weapon
  • Vulnerability and openness are encouraged

How to unwrap a Gift Mindset:

This questioning process can assist unwrapping your gifts.

  • Grow
    What key lessons has a particular challenge or success taught you?
    What gift have you unwrapped? (the 12 gifts-optimism, change, growth, gratitude, connection, re-energising, courage, curiosity, forgiveness, empathy, resilience or contribution?)
  • Integrate 
  • How will you incorporate these lessons into your life and workplace moving forward?
  • Facilitate
    What lessons from this gift can you share with the team and when?
  • Transform
    How will you know that this gift has transformed you and others?

Creating a Gift Mindset Culture:

  • Create a culture where sharing and vulnerability is part of the way you work
  • Access where you sit as a team and organisation and look at others that do this well
  • Review the values of the organisation-is openness a part of this?
    How can you foster openness and sharing?
  • Create collaborative hubs where people share:
    Win Wednesdays: Share a win and how this was achieved.
    Failure Fridays: Unwrap a challenge or a mistake made and share the
    learnings and support any skill gaps
  • Create a feedback culture-peer and cross divisional
  • Incorporate mentoring and coaching informally

The way we see and understand others in a real sense is dependent on trust, respect and what we are willing to share. Disclosing our challenges and our successes to others can help create rapport and support deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Think about what challenges you have overcome and how the lessons of these challenges could serve your team and organisation. Reflect on successes and articulate how you achieved these and encourage others to do the same.

Remember, awareness creates acceptance and then the lessons can be clearer to share and action individually and as a team and organisation.


Written by Renee Giarrusso. Have you read?
Best Hospitality And Hotel Management Schools In The World For 2021.
Best Fashion Schools In The World For 2021.
Best Business Schools In The World For 2021.
Best Medical Schools In The World For 2021.
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Renee Giarrusso
Renee Giarrusso, author of Gift Mindset and Limitless leadership is a communication and leadership expert. She is a speaker, trainer, mentor and a professional coach (PCC) and works with leaders, teams and organisations to energise mindset and accelerate leadership and communication to lift performance and create collaborative and connected cultures.

Books by Renee Giarrusso:
Gift Mindset: Unwrap the 12 Gifts to lead and live a life of purpose, connection and contribution (Major Street Publishing; February 5, 2021).
Limitless Leadership: A Guide to Leading from the Inside Out (Bookpod; September 12, 2016).

Renee Giarrusso is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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