Re-evaluating the business leadership mindset

Re-evaluating the business leadership mindset

Misconceptions often stand in the way of developing yourself and your people

During unprecedented times, the natural reaction most of us have is fear and panic. We carry a heavy burden as we wonder what will come for us in the future, but the burden on business leaders is even heavier.

While leaders have been affected heavily by the things happening in the world around them, they also have a responsibility to take care of their people and sustain their business.

For business leaders, it’s a balancing act between their personal lives, the lives of the people in the organisation, and the sustainability of the business. This can be overwhelming and even with years of experience managing people, it can be too much at times.

In these changing times, business leaders need to re-evaluate the way they lead. In the previous article, we touched on the topic of leadership styles, but we’ll now discuss how to sustain leadership and the business. The foundation you need to build starts with mindset.

While mindset is important on an individual level regardless of position, it can also be the driver to motivate and inspire your people. While we as leaders may feel fear and panic because of uncertainty, our people face the same predicament.

Mindset is the lens through which we view the world around us and it drives our behaviour. Two people can face similar situations but react differently — all because of their mindset.

Mindset is something that grows with us throughout our lives. It can change depending on our experiences and what we’re facing. Because of this, it is also something that we can control when it comes to changing our behaviour.

In our uncertain world today, shifting our mindset can be crucial to survival. There are many mindset concepts we can learn from, but today let’s focus on misconceptions about mindset development for business leaders and the organisation.

The first misconception is that mindset development doesn’t produce any results for the business. Because of this, organisations often overlook it as they don’t see tangible benefits. However, our world is constantly changing. Results will never happen if our mindset remains rigid or we shrink from every adversity.

Look at it this way: when organisations engage in people development, they’re looking for those who can change their behaviour and react quickly when the circumstances demand it. While this can produce quick results, it is not sustainable over time. When we tackle change through behaviour, it is not something we necessarily want to do, and so we can deviate from it over time.

Additionally, this misconception often comes up from our second misconception: that mindset is developed from concepts and theories. While it is important to understand the basics of certain mindset concepts, the most important development takes place outside the training course or classroom. Without putting learning into practice, there’s no way people can develop their mindset.

The third misconception is that it’s a one-way street. It can often seem that way, as we feel we are putting effort into developing our mindset while others aren’t. However, mindset is an internal element that we build on to help see different perspectives that can help us change and find new approaches to overcome changes.

This also ties in with people feeling that they’re not going anywhere when developing their mindset. Often, they learn the concepts and theories but are not able to put them into practice, just as the second misconception says. This results in no change and no results for the individual.

The last misconception is that mindset development forces people to be positive about every situation. As ideal as this may sound, this is unrealistic. We all have different mindsets, and they can be negative and positive depending on the situation. This doesn’t necessarily make one good and one bad, as the most important element in mindset development is learning from both and using that learning to drive new approaches for personal and business success.

For business leaders, these misconceptions can be dangerous when trying to look for ways to drive your business through people development. While we know the importance of mindset in sustaining business growth, it’s the misconceptions that hinder us from taking any action. But with a proper mindset, every adversity we face may be an opportunity for success.

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC — Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at or Talk to us about how SEAC can help your business during times of uncertainty at

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