On July 4th, 1776, at a gathering of doctors, farmers, lawyers and philosophers, a document was approved that described a historic break from the traditional worldview. From that point forward, government was the servant of the people, no longer the other way around.
Leaders are shaped by their worldview. You may ask, “What is a worldview?” A worldview is a compilation of the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that shape the way you look at people, circumstances and events. It is the lens through which you understand and interpret life. It is the formatting on the hard drive of your mind and heart. It is the way that we interpret the events that are happening in the world and help us to understand how we function in this world. Your personal worldview is also shaped by the way you perceive your own impact on the world.
Other words or phrases for worldview include: Paradigm, Point of view, Perspective and Personal Philosophy. For example, Murphy’s Law has a negative worldview in that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. Do you know people who see the glass as half empty? How about the glass half full or perhaps others who see that there is twice as much glass as is needed?
Noel Tichy, author of the The Leadership Engine, shares that effective and leaders have a “teachable point of view” that they pass on to others. It is clear that there is a direct correlation between your results in leadership and your worldview. McGregor initiated all management theory with “Theory X and Theory Y”. The behavior and results of these distinct management philosophies were rooted in the worldview of the manager.
The question to ponder is, “what is my leadership worldview?” Are you able to offer clarity to yourself and others on your “teachable point of view”? Are the results you are experiencing in your personal leadership development related in any way to the way you see people, business and the marketplace? To help yourself grow as a leader, try this exercise. On a blank sheet of paper write down your top 10 beliefs about work, people, the economy, business and leadership. After reviewing your belief statements ask yourself, “how are these beliefs showing up in my leadership life?” Let me know what you discover.
Today, while you are standing by the pool grilling hot dogs and burgers, eating a little apple pie and hugging your mom, and later as fireworks are going off in the sky, recognize that a worldview makes a world of difference.