For awhile now I've been reflecting on the idea of abundance and how it connects to the way that we lead ourselves, our teams, and our businesses. I've been listening. Listening to my friends and clients, to the news and to my own inner voice and what I hear is a fairly consistent message. That message...for someone to "win" someone has to lose.
Now it's not surprising that we see things this way. Think about it. From the time we're learning how to play games, participate in sports, or achieve academically we learn that there's a winner and a loser. Granted we might also learn about winning gracefully or not being a sore loser but seldom is there a focus on an outcome where everyone wins.
There's joy in winning. We celebrate winning teams, big wins at work, earning more, or getting promoted. I love nothing more than having the opportunity to share in the happiness of a friend, client or family member who has just experienced success and would guess you feel the same. That's all good stuff. But what I'm noticing is that we value winning over the value of working together.
Here's how this might sound in your workplace:
"Our department owns this project and I don't understand why finance/technology/sales/marketing/(insert department here) keeps getting in our way."
And here's how it definitely sounds in our newsfeed:
"The republicans/democrats were able to successfully pass/block this piece of legislation."
These talk tracks are all about one team, one department, or one side coming out on top. It's about winning for the sake of achievement rather than focusing on the broader goals. When we make it about which side wins, we forget who we're doing the work for...the client, the constituent, or the individual that we're serving. When winning is our focus we are operating from a scarcity mindset. A belief that there is only so much to go around, and so in order to bring value and be valued we must achieve...be productive...win.
But what if we shifted our thinking to a mindset of abundance? Having enough for every one. What if we worked collaboratively, shared our best ideas, challenged one another candidly and kindly, remembering throughout the process who it is that we're serving? What if it didn't matter who got the credit or whose way it got done, but rather that we collectively moved forward in service to the goal?
I think we'd have a healthcare discussion that was focused on how to serve the greatest number of people in the most effective way. I know we'd have workplaces that hummed with creativity and collaboration on behalf of clients. I believe we'd have less worry about failing and more reasons to celebrate our collective success.
I'm challenging all of us to look through the lens of abundance. To recognize that there is more than enough. I've created a tool with some prompts to help guide you in this process. Check out the latest SHINE resource that can get you moving in a new direction. And remember...