When I visit my young friends in a remote village in Africa, they impress me so much by their ability to share anything. If given a pencil, they share it. If given a candy bar, they quickly calculate how many pieces it can be broken into so that everyone gets a share of it. They cannot really seem to enjoy what they have unless they are sharing it with others. Isn’t it interesting that people who have so little are concerned with giving to others out of whatever they receive?

These young children have adopted an abundancy mentality — there is enough for everyone and I have hope there will be more, so I can share. The alternative is a scarcity mentality — I must hold on to what I have because the resources are limited and I have no hope to obtain more.

In organizations, I see this played out most often when promotions are given. Members of a healthy team celebrate the accomplishments of others, believing progress for some, is progress for all. Healthy team members also believe there is enough opportunity for everyone and realize that success for one gives hope for all. A scarcity mentality is often prevalent on unhealthy teams. In that environment, team members resent the success of others because they believe that it limits individual opportunity. If someone else achieves a goal or dream, they believe that there is less for anyone else to achieve.

Remember the Lay’s potato chip advertisement that encouraged buyers to go ahead and indulge? Their tag line was, “Go ahead! We’ll make more!” That ad appealed to the abundancy mentality within the buyer. There is no need to ration out the chips or save for later — Lay’s assured there would be more!

Great leaders have an abundancy mentality. They see opportunity for themselves and others everywhere. They realize that success for others does not limit their own opportunity, but actually paves the way of success for others.

How do you identify abundancy mentality in others?

1. People who have an abundancy mentality foster other people’s dreams. Sure, they have dreams of their own, but they are interested that everyone achieves their dreams. They know this will make the team as a whole stronger.

2. People who have an abundacy mentality have confidence. They believe in a unique and chosen plan for their own life and know that it is not impacted by the accomplishments of others.

3. People who have an abundacy mentality coach and mentor others. They share their time and talents to support the success of others.

4. People who have an abundacy mentality are optimistic. They are positive in their outlook and rarely, if ever, complain. They see the best in others and celebrate it.

5. People who have an abundancy mentality are generous. They freely share their ideas, talents, advice and expertise. They are not concerned with who gets the credit.

Leaders and team members with abundancy mentalities strengthen the culture of a team and exponentially increase the likelihood of achieving team results. Unlike those with scarcity mentalities who limit and restrain the team, they propel themselves and the team forward into immeasurable success. Abundancy mentality is a trait you may want to consider in making your next hire or selecting your next leader. It’s a decision that could significantly and positively impact the health of your team.