The way to get ahead in life is to adopt the abundance mindset and create abundant value for others.

A win-win attitude draws on inner-core traits such as integrity, leadership maturity, and generosity.

Long-term success tolerates nothing but a win-win attitude; anything less breeds resentment, opposition, and failure.

The primary objective of leadership development is to defeat the counterproductive scarcity mindset, allowing leaders to focus on others instead of themselves.

“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.”- Zig Ziglar

Albert Einstein once said that instead of aiming to become a man of success, you should strive to be a man of value. If you manage to deliver consistent value to others, you will become successful, whether that is your goal or not.

It may seem counterintuitive at first, but giving people value is the only perfectly logical way to attain success in leadership and life in general.

This simple and logical conclusion seems counterintuitive because life tends to condition us to compete for success. In this dog-eat-dog world, we all look out for ourselves. The strong and successful exploit the weak and prey on those who fail to recognize the “rules” or refuse to compete for whatever reason.

One of the most daunting tasks for leadership development is convincing people of the errors of such thinking and showing them how to unlearn the deeply engrained behaviors that result from it.

The Scarcity Mindset versus the Abundance Mindset

If you are stuck in the scarcity mindset, you view success, wealth, and wellbeing as limited resources. Thus, in addition to trying to secure these scarce commodities for yourself, you feel constantly compelled to prevent others from getting them. If you get ahead, you do it at the expense of someone else.

The result of such a mindset is petty thinking, envy, resentment, and lack of success. The scarcity world-view vilifies success in others, and it permeates our culture, in many cases right down to folklore. The struggle of good and evil, the central motif of many folk tales, often boils down to poverty, represented as “good,” versus success, represented as “evil.”

The abundance mindset understands that success is not a finite resource. It is something we create through collaboration and by providing value to others. We can best get ahead in life by working with others to achieve results.

Cooperation is the key to success.

Building a highly functional, successful team and helping their reports build their careers is the pinnacle of success for intelligent leaders.

Leadership Development and the Shaping of Mindsets

I have always said — in my leadership development books, workshops, and events — that you can never achieve anything worthwhile in life unless you bring abundant value to others. Value is an interesting thing; the more you hand out, the more of it finds its way back to you.

By adding value to others, you build trust, attract people, and get them talking about you and what you have to offer others.

The only mentality that leads to consistent, long-term success is the win-win mentality. This is what I emphasize in my leadership development books and speeches. Win-win is the only kind of interaction that stands the test of time and scrutiny.

Win-loss interactions may seem successful to the side that perceives itself as the winner. But if there is a loser in an interaction, both sides will lose in the long run.

Possessing a win-win attitude is essential for leaders because this attitude is the foundation of inner-core character traits such as integrity, maturity, and the abundance mindset.

A win-win position may require empathy and emotional intelligence, but it is not antithetic to confidence and strength. The ability to strike a balance in this respect is a hallmark of leadership maturity.

To shape mindsets, leadership development professionals need to work with the innermost cores of their clients. The exercise requires an intimate rapport between the leadership coach and client, but the changes and value it can deliver are well worth the effort.


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