It’s not what you know; it’s what you believe.

Eight beliefs that impact how you lead.

You can know a lot about leadership.

There’s a lot to know.

There are books and more books,

and classes and seminars,

and Ted Talks,

and more than you can consume in a lifetime.

And consume you will.

Because you love information.

And everything you consume,

will be accepted or dismissed.

Filtered to fit,

Your beliefs.

Even your experiences will be rewritten in later editions.

You decide what you believe,

before you act on what you know.

Knowledge is your leadership structure.

Beliefs are the blueprint.

Bad blueprint.

Weak structure.

“Some things have to be believed to be seen.” 
― Madeleine L’Engle

So here’s a suggestion…

Before you take another class or read another leadership book, meditate on these seven questions (prompting thought):

  • What do I believe about people? (Are they problems or potential?)
  • What do I believe about success? (Is it my success, our success or both?)
  • What do I believe about work? (Is it a burden or a mission?)
  • What do I believe about trust? (Is it safe or dangerous?)
  • What do I believe about myself? (Am I limitless or limited?)
  • What do I believe about performance? (Is it progress or perfection?)
  • What do I believe about resources? (Are they abundant or scarce?)
  • What do I believe about honesty? (Is it nice or necessary?)

What is your first reaction?

What are the first words that come to mind?

Are those your real beliefs or what you want to think you believe?

Now, ask those questions again, but this time start with,

  • What do my actions say I believe about…

That’s more likely the real answer.

No matter how much you know about leadership, it is your beliefs that determine what you put into practice.

Your beliefs engage before you are even consciously aware they are guiding your thought process.

And some of those beliefs may be the lid on your leadership potential.

For example, you may have learned through some painful experience that trust is dangerous. Even though you know that mutual trust is critical to effective leadership, you constantly micromanage your team because inside your belief is overwriting what could be a better course of action.

Maybe you keep wondering why all those leadership books, blogs, and seminars aren’t leading to the changes you desire. You keep thinking there must be some key, some bit of information you are missing.

It could be that you are looking in the wrong place for answers. They aren’t out there; they are in you. Look for the disconnect between what you know, what you want, and what you believe. Where knowledge, intention, and beliefs align, the progress will naturally follow.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +421,678 people.

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