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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Leadership and the Impossible

If I had one thing to tell you today, it would be this: delete the word “impossible” from your vocabulary, your dictionary and your thinking.

We all view life through a prism of our own thoughts and experiences. Our view of life is shaped as much by our perceptions as it is by the objective reality. We are looking through our lenses of how we see the world and how we wish it to be rather than the way it really is. This can really effect your ability as a leader, because two people can see the same thing very differently. We all view things through our own particular lenses, or belief system. To one person, virtually anything is possible, while to another, it’s impossible, and it’s the very same situation, viewed by two different people.

There’s an ancient story of a boy who had a dream one day he would become a great ruler over the entire world, and his courage and wisdom would save all the people from starvation. Not realizing the amount time which needed to elapse before the dream would come to reality, the boy shared the dream with his brothers. As a matter of fact, he had the dream more than once and he shared it more than once with his family. This only caused division in the family, jealousy among his brothers and a strong talking-to from his father. The brothers’ hatred for him grew and they took an opportunity to sell him to a traveling caravan passing by the family farm. The boy never lost faith in the positive thoughts generated by the dream, and eventually, he did grow up to become a world-wide ruler who through different thinking about economics, saved the entire world’s population.

Disciplined Thinking=Unlimited Growth

Positive Thinking=Positive Results

Negative Thinking=Negative Results

Leaders with a positive mindset are able to accomplish amazing things. They make amazing sacrifices. It seems as if they can endure hardships that would devastate others, and overcome tremendous obstacles that block others.

A leader’s destiny is not determined by circumstances or the opinions of others. Your destiny will be determined by your analysis of yourself and what you, and you alone believe you can accomplish. How many potential leaders have fallen by the wayside because they bought into someone else’s view of them? Sometimes it’s the people who are in our closest circles who bring in the most negativity about us. It was that way for the boy in the story who would eventually be ruler. If you are to be a great leader, you must ignore the negative influence of other people and buy into honest appraisals given by good, solid feedback.

Our thinking shapes our lives, and when we are leaders, our thinking may shape the lives of others. That’s why it’s tremendously important how you think about yourself. Do you think possible or do you think impossible.

There’s a story about two men who went fishing. One had a lifetime of fishing experience, while one had not much experience with the fishing craft at all. They had been fishing the entire night and had not even caught one single fish. The man with hardly any experience made a suggestion they should fish a little longer that morning and to throw the fishing net in a particular direction. The experienced fisherman almost keeled over because his experience of not catching any fish that day combined with the other man’s lack of experience shaped his thinking into believing catching any fish with his suggestion would be impossible. All of a sudden, the boat rocked and jolted to the side as the net filled up with fish. To one man, a few minutes earlier, this was impossible. To the other, very possible. One man’s experience taught him impossibility. The other man’s lack of experience made him think it was possible.

Leaders must believe with strong confidence in their own abilities. They must believe answers exist and will present themselves, even when it looks as if no answer exists. This is the beginning of a positive leader’s mindset.

For leaders, here’s a  good rule of thumb for you where others are concerned. Tell yourself no one can know what potential lies buried in another person’s heart or what dreams may lie dormant inside another person. What you can do is train yourself to believe that the potential is there and it is tremendous. The dreams are there and they are enormous. Your job as leader is to mine that potential and to bring it forward. You, as a leader, must begin with yourself and your potential, and your dreams.

Having faith in yourself, is simply the ability to see your own awesome potential with a clarity of vision concerning where you want to go and/or where you want to take your people and your organization.

Choose to believe in yourself and delete the word “impossible” from your dictionary and vocabulary.

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