Do you have the skills and mindsets that over 140 of the world’s top CEOs said are crucial for future leaders? Take the assessment and find out at FutureLeaderSurvey.com
Imagine leading a team of men through the Antarctic — a few months into your journey your ship gets trapped and crushed in ice, before it does, you and your crew escape to an ice floe (massive piece of floating ice) where you remain for several more months. Eventually the ice floe cracks and starts to melt forcing you and your men into your lifeboats to search for land. It’s over year since you step foot onto solid land. Having to battle unpredictable conditions, starvation, the freezing cold, and exhaustion, you and all of your men survive.
That was the real experience of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, one of the greatest explorers and leaders of all time. He didn’t lose a single man on his team because of his ability to adapt to new and unknown situations, embrace a growth mindset, practice curiosity, and remain agile and nimble. Shackleton was described as the type leader who would give the shirt off his back to one his crew, he remained optimistic and hosted singalongs and toasts to keep up the morale of his people, he always put his people first and quickly shifted his goal from exploring the Antarctic to the safety and health of his men.
Future leaders might not be leading sea expeditions, but they will still face the unknown. In order to be a great leader, you must think like an explorer. According to over 140 CEOs that I interviewed for my new book, The Future Leader, the mindset of the Explorer is among the most crucial. You can see nine all of them in this previous article called: 140 Top CEOs Identify Crucial Skills And Mindsets For Future Leaders.
Future leaders need to be curious, which means they are willing to venture into the unknown. The natural curiosity we all have as children tends to fade as we go to school and enter the workforce. To be successful, leaders need to tap into their curious natures and take time to ask questions, explore new possibilities, and allow their brains to wander to new ideas. Try to give yourself time each day to be curious and challenge convention ways of doing things.
To survive their missions, explorers need to always be learning. The world is constantly changing and new information is made available every day. Perpetual learners take control of their own professional and personal development to constantly learn and apply their new learnings. Don’t rely on educational institutions or on organizations to teach you everything you need to know be successful. The good news is that with technology we have access to learn anything we want at any time, right at our fingertips.
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Leaders with a growth mindset view challenges as opportunities to learn and improve instead of permanent roadblocks and barriers to success. If you have a growth mindset, you realize that where you are now isn’t where you’ll always be, and you aren’t afraid to embark on a journey to learn and reach new heights. A growth mindset means that you believe you can improve and that your intelligence and your abilities are not fixed.
Explorers facilitate discussion and are willing to consider outside perspectives. They realize that they won’t always have the answers for everything, but they are open-minded to new perspectives and willing to consider other possibilities outside of what they think is right. For leaders, it’s tempting to assume that what they know or believe is always correct but this is not the case. Encourage being questioned and challenged by others.
Agile and Nimble
To be successful, explorers need to change direction and be flexible in their thinking. If they are too set in their ways, they may miss opportunities for growth or success that come from unexpected sources. Although they may set out with a map, their route could change and evolve, and explorers are comfortable leading their teams on the new path.
Just like Shackleton and his team had to adapt and continually learn to stay alive, future leaders must also be willing to consider other perspectives and continually grow and evolve to succeed in the ever-changing world of work.
If you enjoyed the article and want more content like this here’s what you can do:
1. Subscribe to The Future of Work Podcast where I interview business leaders around the world each week.
2.Grab a copy of The Future Leader and learn all the skills and mindsets that future leaders must possess to be successful. It has been endorsed by the CEOs of MasterCard, Best Buy, Oracle, Audi, Unilever, Domino’s Pizza, Ritz Carlton, Kaiser, and Marshall Goldsmith.
3.If you are or want to be an entrepreneur then my wife and I just launched a brand new podcast on how to Be Your Own Boss, called the BYOB Podcast where we share what we did and how we did. You can subscribe to that here.