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Want to know how to get Team Intelligence™?

Recently we wrote about connection, capability and commitment, all fundamental elements of high achieving teams. But what is the spark that ignites the fire to propel these winning teams? Mindsets, and the right ones, like these 10 mindsets of champion teams.

What is a mindset?

Much like a philosophy, a mindset can act like a guiding principle for behaviour.

Definition: A mindset is an attitude, a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.

What are the 10 mindsets of champion teams?

  1. It’s up to me (Accountability)
  2. We understand time
  3. We embrace fear (and are innovative)
  4. We have shared values
  5. We engage human to human
  6. We are on a learning curve
  7. We respect each other’s perspective
  8. We genuinely care for others (empathy)
  9. We embrace feedback
  10. We trust.

Let’s look at these a little further.

It’s up to me (Accountability)

The term personal accountability can have the ability to make one squirm like a KPI (Key Performance Indicator). However there is extraordinary power in showing up and saying ‘it’s up to me’ because when you take responsibility and action you have the power to change, regardless of the goal.

“The world is rife with hesitation, the cornerstone of mediocrity. When you talk with people who have achieved extraordinary things and ask them how it was that they accomplished whatever it is they’ve done, it is stunning how often they will tell you some version of this: ‘I just decided to do it’”. A snippet from Jeff Olson’s book The Slight Edge.

Whatever success you are hoping to see in your personal or professional life the first step is taking ownership, being accountable for change and making a start, no matter how small.

Read this about the power of accountability

We understand time

When we truly understand that success doesn’t happen overnight, we place power and ownership for success back in our court. Success is a process that takes time.

10 champion mindsets

I love the philosophies of The Slight Edge but I particularly love chapter 6 which talks about the ‘secret of time’ and the challenges of a quantum leap culture.

Quantum leaps relate to the instant gratification culture we’ve become and how it’s not about the big things that happen in your life, it’s about little things you do, consistently. The simple concept of putting one foot in front of the other, and doing it even when you have all the good reasons not to get up is the key.

Read more about understanding time and using it to achieve whatever you choose. 

We embrace fear (we are innovative)

Fear is one of the greatest roadblocks on the road to success. Humans spend so much time immobilised by our fearful thoughts of ‘What if we get it wrong? Make a mistake? What if I fail?’ rather than taking the steps toward the destination.

But what many of us don’t understand is failure is a perfect human trait that is a vital part of the process for success particularly in innovation.

When we allow ourselves the space to fail freely, we lose or at least lessen our fear of failure – that biggest roadblock, and when we give others the space to fail (and learn from it), the opportunity for innovation is created.

Read more about understanding failure for problem-solving and innovation.

We have shared values

When it comes to developing workplace synergy, defining the right core values for your business is one of the best ways to bring your team together and keep them on track.

The values you put out there are the ones that give you your edge.

Human Behavior expert, Dr. John Demartini speaks a lot about the importance of defining personal values because when you live according to your highest values, you become inspired and awaken your genius.

“Each individual lives by a set of priorities, a set of values, things that are most important to least important in their life. And whenever they’re living in alignment with what they value most, we increase the probability of living an inspiring and meaningful life.”

When it comes to setting guiding principles for your organisation, it is important to align your personal values with the values of your company, and its culture for success. To do this, your purpose needs to be clear and you need to articulate how your values are actionable on a daily basis.

If you can’t articulate how your purpose, your why or how your values are lived out then you do and will have discord in your organisation. You will have churn, burn out, unhappiness, and you will be almost guaranteed not to have a successful culture. Because when everyone isn’t living and breathing the fundamentals you will be fostering a culture of negativity.

We engage human to human

We know effective communication is what gets things done, makes sales, propels projects, wins customers, deals with difficult situations, and even makes us happy. Effective communication is a great driver of success.

Communicate person to person not position to position. Remember your team member, client or supplier is a human with family, friends, needs and personal values. And remember that it is their day too.

Engaging human to human is also about talking, actually having a face to face discussion or speaking over the phone at the very least.  Emails, where possible, should be a confirmation of your conversation, not the start of the conversation. Great teams talk to each other!

Read this to immediately improve your communication.

We are on a learning curve

Have you heard of Carol Dweck? Her talk on mindsets and how to embrace the learning curve for success is very popular with the school communities I’ve been working with and it’s edging its way very quickly into the Corporate environment.

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. She’s done extensive research on why people succeed and how to foster success from a young age.

One very strong message Dweck has based her research on is that ‘although people may differ in every which way — in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments — everyone can change and grow through application and experience’. The trick is to believe in the process and that requires the right mindset.

Here’s her TED Talk about mindsets and embracing the learning curve.

We respect each other’s perspective

Each person on your team will have a unique view and understanding of your business. They will also have a unique perspective on how to approach a problem. Ask for the opinions and ideas of everyone in your team, and if you can, ask them in the presence of each other. Get them understanding each other’s unique perspective.

It also helps if you understand what drives each person and this is strongly linked with trust.  We accelerate trust through proven activities to help facilitate the character trust we build as we work together.

Stand in other people's shoesWe genuinely care for others (empathy)

Many people confuse empathy with sympathy as in a feeling of pity or sorrow for the distress of another. Empathy, however, as explained in most definitions, is having the capacity to place oneself in the shoes of another individual. No pity, just a deep, personal understanding.

Something, one of our favourite marketing mentors, Seth Godin, says is not easy for us to generate voluntarily. “We’re not wired to walk in someone else’s shoes, and it’s not our first instinct. Showing up with empathy is difficult, hard to outsource and will wear you out. But it’s precisely what we need from you”.

Here is why we need empathy in the workplace and in our team:

Without empathy, people and company culture have the propensity to be self-absorbed and self-fulfilling which ultimately affects every aspect of a business from employees to suppliers and clients.

And teams really want it. In another thought-provoking study looking at over 10,000 manager reviews, Google employees weighed in on what makes a highly effective manager. Turns out having a manager who takes an interest in their team’s lives and careers was in the top three of the most important attributes.

Read more about why empathy is an essential mindset for success. 

We embrace feedback

Just like champions in sport, work teams that embrace feedback to develop and improve will have breakthroughs, will go to the next level, and take others with them.

If you’re a business owner or manager, it is important to create an environment where feedback is part of the culture, this will ensure it is seen as an opportunity – like a swim coach offering feedback on how to correct or improve a stroke.

Before you know it the champions will rise to the surface.

Read more the Feedback Mindset. 

We trust

Like Team Intelligence™, building trust is a fundamental element to a team or organisation’s success. One of the best ways to generate trust with your team is to demonstrate it. Show your confidence in them. Allow people to be the expert they are. Listen with respect to their unique knowledge and insights.

Teams who can see each other’s unique perspective, talents and values, have better working relationships, are better able to solve problems more effectively and work better toward the organisational goals.

Read more about the champion mindset: Trust.


So now you know the 10 mindsets of champion teams. What are you going to do today to action them? It only requires a very subtle shift in mindset to move away from focusing on results to focusing on daily actions for long-term success.