The Power of Pivoting and the Connection to Mindful Leadership

Keren Tsuk
The Startup
Published in
4 min readJun 30, 2019

The dynamic and hectic reality we live in requires us, executives, entrepreneurs, and employees, to be able to respond quickly to be attentive to our clients’ needs that are continuously changing. Behavior that requires us to try new things, sometimes successes and keep on moving, and sometimes we are required to pause, to reflect on if we are moving in the right direction or not.

In order to lead in this ever-changing reality, we are required to continuously keep learning and to move out of our comfort zone. We are required to adopt a growth mindset, which is based on the premises that we need to continuously nourish our qualities through effort and determination, and that each and every one us can develop through the experience. Growth mindset means that challenges are the basis for growth and learning, and failure doesn’t reflect anything about our identity, but a way to learn from the experience and continue growing.

It is necessary as leaders to adopt.

For example, at “Enigma” (a fabricated name) the two co-founders had an idea, they started to develop the product, raised money and now they already have the product up and running and a ready to offer it to their potential clients. As they started interacting with their potential clients, they came to realize that the product is not attractive enough, and understand even better now, that the market they went into is very crowded and watered with services and products.

When entering ca rowded market, all the more so, they need to specify their offer and to find their unique added value compared to their competitors. A situation that requires each and every organization to be innovative and bring their added value to the market, this differentiates them from what the other offers.

Coming back to the Enigma start up, after the initial development of the product and the raise founding, the CEO started meeting clients and offering them their product, however, he encountered resistance among his potential clients. One way to react to resistance is by continuing “pushing” and trying to sell the product despite the resistance of the clients. Another way is to be mindful and really listen to what the clients are saying. To pause and reflect on the feedback of the clients regarding the product and to explore whether their product is unique enough compared to their competitors and explore how they can bring significant value to the client, that wasn’t addressed till now.

The co-founders of Enigma chose the second course. Thanks to their ability to pause, they have explored the market, listened intently to their clients’ needs, and decided to pivot, meaning they have agreed to connect to the broader picture beyond the emotional connection they had toward the product they have developed and the time and energy they have already invested.

A known and important definition from the business world is Sunk Cost, meaning “throwing good money after bad money”. Sometimes it’s hard for us to let go the initial decision that we took, although the decision doesn’t prove itself to be a good decision, and moreover, it harms us or distresses us, but we continue to act upon her only because that it was our initial decision.

Practicing mindfulness enables us to adapt an agile mind. Mindfulness is a state of mind in which I connect to a narrow viewpoint — an experience, emotion or a process that I am going through in a non-judgmental way without being managed by it, and at the same time, I am connected to the broader picture, beyond myself. My ability to move between these two realms is a mindfulness state of mind. In this state of mind, one can choose in a free manner his most appropriate response toward the specific moment — it’s a paradoxical connection between attachment and detachment at the same time.

As I said, the CEO of Enigma felt resistance from his client toward the product that he offered them. He could have continued trying to sell the product and to ignore the reality and to stick with self-persuasion that the product is amazing and he won’t have found the right clients. This behavior is usually managed by the initial emotion and enthusiasm from the initial idea and attachment to it. On the other hand, the co-founders could of pause, listen to what’s emerging, to respect without judgment what the clients are saying, and this is what they did. They decided to pause, reflect and explore the situation and to develop a new product that is unique and brings a unique added value to the clients.

As managers in this reality, we need to be mindful of the changing needs of the clients and the markets and succeed in changing ourselves, in order to be creative and innovative and to bring our added value and our organization’s added value.



Keren Tsuk
The Startup

Dr. Keren Tsuk is the Founder of Wisdom To Lead, consulting company which specializes in working with senior management teams & leadership.