The Importance of a Win-Win Mindset for Leaders

There are some leaders who always want to win no matter what the consequences are to others.

They are very competitive and do not take into consideration how their decisions may affect others.

Then there are other leaders who only focus on the needs of others and may ignore their own goals completely.

Ideally, a truly effective leader has a mindset in between these two extremes.

If you have ever read Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he details the five elements of the win-win agreement.

This can be a very effective way for leaders to approach getting the desired results they want.

With this approach, a leader moves from a competitive viewpoint, to more of a cooperative and collaborative solution where the final goal is to seek mutual benefit.

To start off, Covey believes that the leader who has a win-win mindset possesses three very important character traits:

  1. Integrity – Always being your true to your feelings, values, and principles.
  2. Maturity – Expressing your ideas and feelings with a balance of courage and consideration for the feelings and ideas of others.
  3. Abundance Mentality – Believing there is enough to go around for everyone.

When a leader possesses these character traits, he or she can start by looking at the bigger picture, and focusing on shared goals and mutual interests.

This may be more time consuming in the long-run, but the benefits are good will, trust, and strong relationships.

Covey goes on to describe the five elements necessary to get to an agreement where both parties win:

  1. Desired Results – Discuss the results you expect. This is an area where all parties involved would discuss expectations and mutually commit themselves to getting the desired results.
  2. Guidelines – These are the principles, policies, and procedures that need to be followed in order to achieve the desired results.
  3. Resources – These are the various people, technical, financial, and organizational resources available to assist the parties involved.
  4. Accountability – This is where the standards of performance and timeframe are set. When all parties involved help to set the standards of performance, they tend to feel more responsible to get the desired results.
  5. Consequences – Reach an understanding of what will happen if the desired results are reached or not reached. Discuss what the final evaluation will be.

As a leader, do you tend to give in to the agendas of others to avoid conflict?

Or are you always out to win no matter what?

Have you ever thought about the benefits of the win-win agreement?