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When it comes to healthfully building a thriving team, mindset is critical to the development of your success. Lots of people want to give you strategies and meeting agenda models, but the best teams have the healthiest mindsets.

Every owner, CEO, or leader wants their team to think like them, but they’re blind to why it is more difficult for team members to develop this mindset.

Here are some reasons that may be holding your team back from this mindset.

#1: We say we want them to have a CEO mindset, but we don’t treat them like a CEO

I see this one quite a bit.

Leaders love to preach that their teams take ownership, and everyone in their organization is a “leader”, but the truth is we don’t treat them like leaders. We have a bad tendency to treat them like interns, or doers.

There’s a few reasons this happens, but the one I see most is a lack of empathy. Empathy is a powerful force in leadership but a lack of it can be catastrophic to our teams. We do more telling than asking. We do more ordering than listening. See the posture we treat our teams will be the posture they respond to us. If we treat them like executives, they’ll act like executives.

If you’ve ever worked for a CEO, think back to how you talked with them.

Did you boss them around?

Did you dismiss their thoughts and did something else?

Probably not.

But that’s how we typically treat people that are “below” us within organizations.

I truly believe that our best approach to leading teams is to be Co-CEOs with our people. Great leaders don’t have employees, they have partners they work with.

Now hear me out. I’m not saying that sometimes you need to make a call or pull rank. But rarely should this be the case. Here are some practical ways you can start treating your staff differently and shift the culture.

  1. Start having staff lead meetings as you share input as you see fit.

  2. Asking them their opinion before making a decision

  3. Coaching their mindset when you hear non -CEO like things.

  4. Quit saving the day when things are going wrong. CEOS know how to solve problems.

#2: STOP controlling people.

I know that’s blunt, but someone needed to say it.

From one leader to another, I know the temptation to control people and the daily battle. But can I just say that it is hurting your leadership. Control is a facade that makes us feel okay for a time, but kills our empowering ability within our teams.

Here’s the deal,

Our controlling tendencies have nothing to do with people,
but our own insecurities.

It’s not about our team, it’s about our insecurities as a leader. Leadership has this way of magnifying our inner gifts, skills, but also the dark parts of our hearts.

What is it going to matter if your team wrote something a little different than you would?

What is it going to matter if the colors were a little off?

Most times these things come from how our parents raised us or trauma in our lives. This also can come from ego. Many times we are worried if something goes a little wrong, WE will be the one looked at as a failure or incompetent.

We make it about us.

And that right there is where our insecurities hurt our ability to lead our teams to the best they can be.

#3: Hold CEO-like Standards

Though we don’t control people, we DO hold high standards. This is not micro-managing, but keeping a standard for all to follow. If you build a vision that is inspiring and incredible, people most of the time will rise to the occasion. No one wants to be a part of mediocrity, so call the team to HIGHER standards and watch them grow. This generation (Gen Z/Millennials) don’t mind being challenged IF you they know that you have their best interests in mind.

Quick tip, set your standards at the beginning of someone joining your team.

Waiting to set standards is a great way to be frustrated quickly. Most of the time a team that believes in each other, will respect what is set. But if it’s a guessing game all the time, they will be frustrated along with you.

#4: What is THEIR “organization” within your organization?

You may have looked at that and thought, "what in the world?"

One time I was sitting down with a mentor of mine who ran a large restaurant chain. I asked him, “How do you make people look at the company like you do?”.

His answer was powerful.

He said, “No matter what role they played in the organization, every employee was trained to OWN a section of the restaurant.

They would be the “CEO” of that area, and would take pride in that area zone every single day.

They would have a budget and everything.

This was their “organization” within the organization.

This is how you build a CEO-mindset culture. Leaders understand the big picture, the values, and the expectations. They are also extremely CLEAR on what they take ownership with. At the end of the day, we all want to own something and be proud of it when we're done.

It’s also important for each person to have a NUMBER.

Google launched this years ago with every employee on the team. Every true leader wants to know how they can WIN for their area of ownership. As the head leaders, we need to give them these and assign them to increase engagement.

Let’s say you are running a sales company for printers, here is what this could look like.

I pray this helped you as you build your teams.

Remember, every person is a leader ONLY if we treat them like one.

Love you all,


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