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 abundance 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.
“A rising tide lifts all boats.” This is what we do when we lead with an abundance mentality. Early in my career, one of my leaders held me accountable to have an abundance mentality. I am so glad he did, because it has served me well. Investing in others, supporting their platform, acknowledging their talent and using our gifts (and blessings) to help them succeed is the very definition of great leadership.
Unfortunately, most of us are wired to compete instead of collaborate. One leader told me that she believed that 90 percent of the leaders she meets are wired for competition. Many organizations believe this is an important trait for leaders. It certainly can be, but it can also be detrimental to collaboration if not held in check.
In organizations, I see the battle of abundance mentality vs. scarcity mentality 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 abundance 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 abundance 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 everyone.
How do you identify abundance mentality in others?
1. People who have an abundance 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 stronger.
2. People who have an abundance 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 abundance mentality coach and mentor others. They share their time and talents to support the success of others.
4. People who have an abundance 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 abundance 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 abundance mentalities strengthen the culture of a team and exponentially increase the likelihood of achieving team results. Click To TweetUnlike those with scarcity mentalities, who limit and restrain the team, they propel themselves and the team forward into immeasurable success. Abundance mentality is a trait you may want to consider in selecting talent and in selecting your next leader. It’s a decision that could significantly and positively impact the health of your team.
Think about this concept personally. Who could benefit by you putting aside the need to compete, and instead choose to collaborate? Do we remember the games we won or the leaders who helped us succeed? One of the most significant benefits of the LinkedIn network is how many people use their influence to help others in the network. Lend your expertise and your platform to someone to demonstrate you are a leader with an abundance mentality. You will be valued and remembered much more for who you helped than how often you won.