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Leading is about people. Leading people is about making them do certain things. So when you lead, you want to influence the BEHAVIOUR of your team.

behaviour - mindset - experience - expectations
what works


Some try to do it directly (see 1) by giving orders, pushing, scaring or whatever they think is the best shortcut to make their people behave this or the other way. Yet, influencing the HOW, the behavior doesn’t work. Even the modern armies stay away from it. They define the WHAT and let the teams decide on the HOW.


Some say that one needs a certain MINDSET to change the behaviour (see 2). Hence, they produce movies, town halls, presentations, off sites and other formats to change the mindsets of their people. In most cases it doesn’t work neither. Why? Because the mindset is a private thing. It can be manipulated for some time, yet, it remains private and it doesn’t produce a sustainable change in behavior. The desired behavior lasts no longer than the manipulating broadcasts.


What works well is providing EXPERIENCE that goes through the mindset and generates different behaviour (see 3). Example: Your drive your car in winter. It slips when you turn or brake. You start driving slower. Or your friend or neighbor got a cancer. You stop smoking. Etc. Experience is the strongest lever to change a behavior. For leaders it might be about going ahead with an example. Walking the talk – like they say.


So far so good. But all of this is embedded into the EXPECTATIONS (see 4). Experience, mindset, behavior – they all are relative as people compare them – mostly unconsciously – to their expectations. And the expectations are generated by all kind of signals: what you hear, what you see, what you desire, what you hate, what others have or get, etc. And as we tend to forget many things over time, expectations have the longest memory. Sometimes we keep them for the whole life.

Key takeaways:

  1. Whatever you do, say, not do or not say – you send signals to others and they shape their perceptions, their expectations.

  2. These expectations last long. You cannot see them. Even the people who have them often do not realise their power. Yet, everything they experience is measured by those expectations. They make everything relative. Even the numbers: 10 USD is big for lots for some and not enough for others.

  3. As a leader, it helps to keep it in mind, when you initiate a change, when you implement it, and very much so when you face the outcome.

How to lead now…

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