Leaders often get stuck putting out fires or reacting to emergencies all day and forget that they're the person who sets the example for how people behave in the workplace. Leaders who think expansively move above the fray are able to design healthy, highly functional organizations where people treat each other well and get a lot done. Here are some examples of expansive versus constrictive leadership thinking:
Examples of Constrictive Leadership Thinking
We've always done it that way.
Employees should stay in their place.
There's only one way to do things.
Workplaces are, by nature, rough and chaotic.
People aren't to be trusted.
You've got to tell employees what to do or they won't do it.
People should stick to the rules.
Employee self-awareness isn't a priority.
Examples of Expansive Leadership Thinking
Let's try something new.
Let's use our employees' feedback and ideas.
There are many ways to do things.
Workplaces can be kind and calm.
We trust our people.
We encourage employees to motivate themselves.
We're flexible on the rules.
We help leaders and employees build self-awareness.
Many well-meaning leaders miss opportunities to succeed on a higher level because they can't envision anything beyond the day to day struggle. Expansive thinking is the opposite of what we do in most of our workplaces, it's an approach that moves past the chaos to calmly and deliberately designing a healthy, flexible and dynamic workplace. What will you do to practice expansive leadership thinking?