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The Outward/Giver vs. The Inward/Taker

The Outward/Giver vs. The Inward/Taker
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Fritz Seyferth has often spoken about the Four Stages of Fulfillment on our journey to greatness.  At all times, we are seeking: I) physical fulfillment; II) comparative accomplishment; III) contribution to others; and IV) legacy fulfillment.   What is it that enables us to get “unstuck” in Stages 1 and 2 and  move more easily to Stages 3 and 4?  

In the book The Outward Mindset the Arbinger Institute contrasts an Outward Mindset with an Inward Mindset.  Levels 1 and 2 people would be described as Inward Mindset people.  Their focus is solely on themselves, what they believe, and what they need.  Defensiveness, blame, and self-justification are a few of the traits of an individual with an Inward Mindset.  Their coping mechanisms involve sarcasm, anger, siloing, and self-centered talk.  Under pressure these people resort to the triad of the amygdala (primitive brain):  fight; flight; or freeze.  Do any of these traits sound familiar?

By contrast, those who achieve Stages III and IV Fulfillment are Outward Mindset people.  Their focus is on the needs, goals, and growth of others.  Their coping mechanisms involve collaboration, innovation, empathy, and trust.  These mechanisms engage the frontal (curious) lobe of the brain which is responsible for the release of oxytocin.  Under pressure these people rely on the strength of their team.  Do you recognize these traits?

In the book Give and Take, Adam Grant echoes this theme.  His research revealed that people in organizations are either Takers, Givers, or Matchers.  Takers are very much like Stage I and II people, and Inward Mindset people.  Takers are self-oriented and see others as objects to be manipulated for their own advancement.  Givers correspond with Stage III and IV people, and Outward Mindset people.  They pay attention to the needs of others and act on those needs.  Matchers try to achieve a balance between giving and taking.  Which people do you think have the greatest positive effect on an organization?

Do you have an Outward Mindset with a Giver’s attitude or an Inward Mindset with a Taker’s attitude?  These contrasting styles have a great effect on a leader’s ability to engender commitment instead of compliance.  If you are an Inward/Taker we can help you begin the journey to change your Mindset. Please join us for our Executing the Foundation of Greatness Seminar in Chicago, January 26-27.