Reap the Benefits of Becoming a ShiftThinker™

woman harvesting berries
By Kevin Snyder

5 minutes

Four principles to follow for continual growth and success   

A common denominator many of us share is being confronted by extraordinary uncertainty and adversity over the past few years.

For some of us, the challenges created setbacks and forced us to question things—even ourselves and our credit union staff and teams.

Many of us adapted and thrived amidst the changing professional development climate.

No matter your credit union position or where you are in your career, now more than ever, having a ShiftThinker™ mindset is vital to thriving regardless of any adversity or circumstance.

Adversity doesn’t define us. It reveals new opportunities we would not have had otherwise.

It’s our mindset and response to adversity that is the differentiator that determines whether we just go through a season of change and challenge or discover how to grow from it.

How we intentionally shift our thinking is where authentic change begins and growth results. We need to look not just within ourselves, but at empowering it in others as well.

Small shifts can create massive results.

Becoming a ShiftThinker™ requires four building-block principles to help us shift our thinking effectively. Doing so will enable us to discover inner strength, lead more effectively and grow amidst any adversity we face.  

ShiftThinker™ Principle No. 1: Growth Mindset Versus Fixed Mindset

Even though a seed might find itself in an adverse environment, laws of nature still compel it to grow.

We’re not much different. A growth mindset is akin to a learner’s mindset. Growth moves people and organizations forward despite challenges and adversity.

On the contrary, a fixed mindset is complacent and settles for the status quo. It resists change and waits for things to return to “normal.” Individuals and organizations with fixed mindset cultures soon become reactive, irrelevant and obsolete. Then they wonder, “What happened?” 

Think of Kodak and Blockbuster. There are quite a few others.

From my experience providing leadership training to more than a million people and more than a thousand organizations across the U.S., I’ve discovered the most successful organizations are those with leaders who feel a responsibility for fostering a growth mindset culture in their organizations and people.

We can change without growth, but we cannot grow without change.

Change is a good thing when we understand what we can learn from it and how to use it to our advantage.

ShiftThinker™ Principle No. 2: Think Differently to Achieve New Results

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

The organizations that thrive are those that constantly think differently and try “outside the box” ideas.

The Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle is a perfect example.  Amidst high turnover, staffing shortages and declining profits, its leaders worked as a team to think differently to discover a new approach to selling fish. Throwing fish, literally, and engaging their customers differently changed the trajectory of the business and made them world-famous.

Whereas most people are Zooming in these days, a think differently mindset empowers us to zoom out and constantly reflect and re-examine new approaches.

We cannot solve new problems with old ways of thinking.

Thinking differently is not about pivoting. Pivoting is a basketball term that protects the ball-handler in a temporary situation. At some point, the person with the ball must dribble, pass or shoot.  Otherwise, they’ll continue to go around in circles.

ShiftThinker™ Principle No. 3:  Envision N.O.

When some hear “no,” they accept it.  But when ShiftThinkers hear “no,” they envision “New Opportunity.”

Roger Bannister is one of my favorite examples exemplifying this “N.O.” mindset. In 1954, he became the first person to break the 4-minute mile. Before his amazing accomplishment, people doubted him and said he was crazy. He was given “no” after “no” after “no.” However, what he heard was “New Opportunity.”

Since 1954, hundreds upon hundreds of others have also broken the 4-minute mile—which was once assumed to be humanly impossible—all because one person, Roger Bannister, showed them it was possible.

So next time you hear “no” or “Well, that won’t work,” that might just be an indication you are on the right track. If it’s never been done before, that’s exactly why you should do it.

When you vision it in your mind, it becomes only a matter of time.

ShiftThinkers understand that when you care deeply about new opportunity, you do not have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. This is what envisioning new opportunities is all about.

ShiftThinker™ Principal No. 4:  A.C.T.ion

The challenge with A.C.T.ion is that it requires risk and possibly making mistakes. And frankly, sometimes knowing exactly what action to take is not clear.

To find the right strategy, action is required. And even if we fail, by adopting a ShiftThinker approach, we fail forward with lessons earned.

People say failure is tough. Well, success is tougher because that means action was taken through the fear and failure.

Vision without action is merely a daydream. Action Changes Things.

Consider skydiving as a perfect example. Envision jumping out of a perfectly good plane.

I happen to be a certified skydiver and have met hundreds of other skydivers along the way. I’ve never met a skydiver who did not have doubt and anxiety before taking their first jump. They felt the fear and did it anyway.

Interestingly, how did their mind shift after landing? Think they wanted to jump again?

Absolutely! Skydiving teaches us to take action through the fear, because A.C.T.ion changes things. And the more we push ourselves to feel uncomfortable, the more comfortable we will feel doing it. This is characteristic of high performers.

Everyone feels fear, doubt and even imposter syndrome from time to time. The differentiator is not letting those feelings stop us. Taking action truly does change us. Then we want to do it again.

Let’s grow.

Kevin Snyder delivers virtual and onsite motivational keynotes and workshops that empower audiences to envision new possibility.

Attend a Related Learning Event

Kevin Snyder will present the Virtual Classroom course "Becoming a ShiftThinker™: Strategies for Continual Growth and Success! (Part 1)" at noon Central time on Aug. 16.
Register today
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