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Changing From Mr. Down In The Dumps To Mr. Up And Coming.

I do not fix problems.

I fix my thinking.

Then problems fix themselves.”

– Louise L.Hay

“I’m fed up.”

This was the opener from a client a few years ago, and not an unusual one I might add.

They were a leader in a large tech company who was very capable but an interesting side to them was that they would raise their eyes and smile any time I brought up the mental side of business.

The smile was a little bit like one you might get from an experienced business head talking to a more junior one.

This guy was American and in his words:

“Shane, we invented mindset and the inner game.”

Now while that could easily be challenged, I understood his point, and so we primarily focused on what I call the ‘outer game’ challenges and made great progress on his top goals.

And to be fair, this guy seemed to be great mentally as his results were speaking for themselves.

We typically met every 2 months and the next time I saw him something dramatic had happened.

The normally bright eyed, enthusiastic leader was grey and tired looking – it was as if the light had gone out.

He told me that just after we’d last seen each other, he’d had a conversation with the CEO that he’d interpreted to mean he wouldn’t be getting a promotion he’d long been working towards.

As a result, his mood tanked and with it his performance and that his entire department. (We’re talking 7 figure impact in 2 months)

So he said, “Let’s talk about the inner side, although I’m not sure what you can do here.”

Being honest, neither was I! 🙂

But after listening and doing some digging I realised something interesting:

The CEO had never actually said what the guy was believing. It was an assumption – albeit, one he was convinced was true.

The simple action to take was to go directly to the CEO to ask him if that was what he meant. And of course you’ve guessed the truth – it wasn’t. In fact it was the complete opposite! The CEO clarified that he was well on his way to the promotion and couldn’t understand why he thought otherwise!

My client couldn’t believe that he had wasted 2 months of his life over an unchecked assumption. And with it a reduction in his performance, increased stress and negative impact on his key relationships because of his bad mood.

3 things to consider here:

1. What we think we hear isn’t always true.

2. What we think we say isn’t always heard.

3. What we think and believe, affects our behaviour dramatically – so we need to be ‘choosy’ about what we think.

My US client immediately reset his attitude and had a record breaking quarter in sales directly afterwards. Mr. Down In The Dumps became Mr. Up And Coming.

The mood of the leader directly impacts the bottom line – and it’s for business and life.

And it’s your thinking that affects your mood the most.

Nothing else.

Where can you apply this insight the week?



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