I’ve spent considerable time thinking about and studying the concepts of scarcity and abundance. I want to understand not only how abundant leaders think but also how they behave. My efforts thus far have yielded eight behaviors of truly abundant leaders.
“Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there was only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.” – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Collectively, these behaviors are not only the indication of a genuinely abundant leader; they are more often than not the sign of a genuinely happy and effective one.
I abundantly offer these behaviors to you as a means of considering not only your mindset but your actions as well. These are behaviors that others should see in you and that you should look for in your leader.
1. Give Others Credit
Abundant leaders care little about who gets the credit. Since they believe that great ideas can come from any source and no limit on sources or ideas, they aren’t compelled to steal someone else’s limelight. They believe that shining the light on those who contribute makes everyone a bit brighter.
2. Ask for Input
Not seeing themselves as the only source of good ideas or fearing the scrutiny that might come from asking others for help and support, abundant leaders willingly and actively solicit others’ input. They do this, not because they want to create a fake sense of involvement or buy-in, but because they believe that the active participation of many makes a better solution.
3. Extend Trust
Abundant leaders pour out trust upon others. This doesn’t mean that they are gullible or refuse to recognize the risks of failure; it merely means that they know that to achieve the best results today and tomorrow, they must trust others and create a trusting culture. They also know that a culture of trust starts with them.
4. Coach Others
Scarce leaders don’t take the time to help others. Heck, they are too focused on their career path to care about the journey of another. Abundant leaders not only take the time, but they consider coaching both a duty and a privilege. Helping others become the master is the ultimate reward for an abundant leader.
5. Share Ideas
Since abundant leaders don’t care who gets the credit, they are willing to share their ideas. Unlike individuals who wait to spring their brilliant answer on others at just the right time, or those who hold back during brainstorming exercises for fear of sounding foolish, abundant leaders are willing to put their ideas on the table and allow the team to build on, improve, or toss out as appropriate.
6. Connect People
When someone is seeking a door to be opened or a problem to be solved, abundant leaders are willing to make connections among their network members. It can be a tough balance between respecting the value of a connection and openly sharing that connection with others, but genuinely abundant leaders have mastered that challenge. They have a bias to connect and share.
7. Meet Unspoken Needs
Since abundant leaders are clued into others’ needs and not just themselves, they are also more aware of those around them’ unspoken needs. They recognize when someone is struggling with a task, an emotion, or any other challenge and reach out to them with a word of encouragement and an offer to help.
8. Listen More
The truly abundant practice effective listening. They don’t just listen to pick up on the key issues as they formulate a response; they listen to understand. They ask clarifying questions. They try to understand the speaker’s perspective. Pretend to listen just isn’t part of the abundant leader’s actions.
Consider These Questions
- Would people call you scarce, abundant, or somewhere in between?
- What could you do today to be more abundant?
- How do you improve your abundance mindset? Start behaving more abundantly. Often your view of things is informed as a result of your behaviors.
We’ve created a tool to help you to remember the eight abundant leader behaviors. It’s available to view and download here. Feel free to print, post, and share it with others.
Make it a great day! – Patrick
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.