Mindset Matters: How to Prepare Your Company for Ongoing Change

Leaders' mindsets serve as a key determining factor in their ability to face disruption.

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By Sam Reese

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the lasting lessons CEOs have learned over the past two years is that there will always be unknowns when it comes to business. Whether it's a global pandemic, "The Great Resignation," or supply chain slowdowns, being prepared for unexpected issues can make or break a company. Amid ongoing uncertainty, successful leaders continue to lean into mission, values, purpose and operating principles to shape their strategy and adapt to change. Perhaps most importantly, leaders' mindsets serve as a key determining factor in their ability to face disruption. Below are four ways great leaders are cultivating a mindset for success in 2022 and beyond.

1. Handling the world of unknowns

In the span of six months, CEOs have faced a myriad of unprecedented challenges, including the Omicron variant, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, supply chain slowdowns and exorbitant inflation. However, successful leaders continue to pivot through volatile conditions by staying close to customers. Instead of thinking, "I believe this; therefore, it is," CEOs are shifting their mindsets to be curious and humble. They are asking "How are customers reacting?" and "How can we adjust our business plan to support them as a result?"

To stay close to the business, leaders are stripping down the bureaucracy. The action happens on the front lines — it's not just about people sitting in corner offices, trying to make decisions. Great leaders are in regular communication with those who work directly with customers and are asking them what they are hearing and noticing. This helps to get clear information to help inform better decisions.

Related: The Mindset That Sets Apart Great Leaders

2. Transformative values for leaders

As disruption continues, adopting and maintaining an optimistic mindset is key. Successful CEOs pragmatically face the challenges ahead while being grateful for what they've accomplished thus far. With a positive mindset, leaders can focus on what is in their control and take action, rather than make excuses for setbacks.

Great leaders value transparency. Instead of making up a story, they are candid about issues and concerns, and they work quickly to resolve them. When leaders are impeccable with their word, they lay the foundation of trust with customers, clients and employees.

3. Embracing change

Strategic Selling author Bob Miller said, "Whatever got you where you are today is no longer sufficient to keep you there." During times of trauma, leaders tend to rely on what they know worked in the past and hope it's a magic formula that can take them through the current challenges again. Successful leaders instead focus on always improving and making progress. When that belief in continuous improvement is a core part of a leader's mindset, they're naturally going to be okay with transformation and change.

Related: 3 Mindsets High-Performing Business Leaders Use to Create Growth

4. Employees are at the forefront of strategy

Above all else, successful leaders are prioritizing their employees. They consistently remind employees how their work contributes to the company's overarching purpose and emphatically celebrate wins and milestones. Leaders are making a conscious effort to communicate a purpose that's both authentic and transparent to retain employees. They also ensure employees are central to decision-making. Regular and transparent business updates help everybody understand how the business is doing, and making a conscious effort to cascade strategy creates space for employees to add value. Respecting employees' unique opinions and perspectives ensures everyone feels heard, valued and seen, which is a critical mindset for success.

With the right mindset, a continued state of uncertainty can be approached with a sense of possibility and room for growth. Inspiring leaders approach each new challenge with fresh eyes. Rather than drawing on how challenges were approached in the past, successful leaders stay humble and curious, and they seek out fresh perspectives. They have a resilient mindset that lets their team know that they will not quit, no matter how difficult circumstances become. Most importantly, the best leaders are continuously focused on improving themselves and their businesses, knowing that as the world changes so quickly, they have to transform as well. With this mindset, challenges can be the catalyst for major improvements and success.

Related: Post-Pandemic Times Will Demand a New Brand of Leadership. Will You Step Up?

Sam Reese

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

CEO of Vistage

Sam Reese is CEO of Vistage, the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize businesses. Over his 35-year career as a business leader, Sam has led large and midsize organizations and has advised CEOs and key executives of companies all over the world.

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