“Leadership And Open Mindset”

I’m currently looking for a meaningful, c- level leadership position in the software industry. As part of that, I recently had a first interview with the HR person of a company and the interim CEO they currently have employed. The interview went well and the opportunity sounded interesting to me as it had the headquarter in the country I live in and an acquired company in a Scandinavian country. It matched my strengths quite well and so I was looking forward to the next interview.

This one was interesting as it was with one of their investors, and it went as:

Investor: “well, you haven’t exactly done before what we are looking for. Why do we talk at all?”
Me: because I have an open mindset and feel safe in learning what’s necessary to be successful in this role pretty quickly.

Instead of coming up with some kind of plan on how to get me up to speed quickly, he went on: “from my experience, this doesn’t work”

Me: hmm, In my career I’ve mostly done ERP and CRM. Then I joined a company which did data quality, address validation, big data and so on. The results for the teams that I have put together and me were:

  • 3.5x multiple of sales in 4 years
  • a new and open minded company culture resulting in motivated and successful teams
  • a successful acquisition in the US for having more product to sell.
  • a new software strategy resulting in various successful software releases
  • for me personally, it also opened the door into their “high potential- top 100” list. The company roughly had 3,500 employees back then.

So I finished the call with this investor pretty quickly as either this person has a fixed mindset or a pretty weird job description for the CEO role. A fixed mindset is more likely because his thinking seems to be like „if the profile doesn’t match 100%, things can’t work“. Anyway, none of the two options sounded attractive to me in any way 😉

Talking Leadership, is this investor a leader? Not really either, as leadership involves

  • role modeling
  • enabling others
  • being supportive

There’s a huge difference between being just wealthy for whatever reason and being a positive minded leader.

I’ve worked all of my career in software companies but work quite a bit with psychology as well as I have two passions: technology & psychology.

Consequently this led to two professional coaching educations. – the most current one is “Certified High Performance Coach” which is the only science based and outcome oriented coaching framework I am aware of.
Very helpful in creating a positive company culture which is productive as well. And motivated, engaged and successful team members 🙂

Some background on fixed mindsets versus open mindsets: In case of a a new challenge, a person with a fixed mindset tends to say “I can’t do that, I don’t know how ”. And as a consequence, those people would often not even try coping with this new challenge. They seem to prefer sticking to long established habits and refusing new learning all together. Extremely dangerous in times of industrial revolutions like right now, the digitalization.

A person with an open mindset in contrary would say: what additional skills do I need? How can I get them as quickly as possible? Who could help me in this process ? A mentor? Community? Books?

Fortunately this investor was definitely an exception as I was very happy to read in another job description the wording “an open mindset is required’.

Isn’t it amazing that an open mindset obviously needs to be spelled out for c- level roles these days ?

From a coaching client I got this question: how can I make sure to keep an open mindset longer term? In a nutshell: living healthy and learning, something new every single day.

I’ve actually established the habit of reading at least one book per week. Interested in knowing more? Let’s get in touch.

Have a great day today everybody and make a difference!