Who Are You For?

Have you ever had the experience of someone being for you? Always in your corner? Has your back? Cheers for your success? Hopes the best for you? Encourages you to do more and be more?

Every once in awhile, you find people that treat everyone this way. These people have an abundance mentality. They believe that there is enough for everyone, so they can freely support others without fear of nothing being left for them.  

So what is the opposite of an abundance mentality?

A scarcity mentality dictates that we cannot share our knowledge, skills, talents and encouragement for others because of a belief that there are only so many opportunities and we must use what we have to compete with one another instead of completing one another.

In leading people, this often shows up when someone is receiving a promotion. Look at the faces of the other team members when the promotion is announced. Who is genuinely happy for their team member? Who struggles to congratulate their team member? Those are tell-tale signs of who has an abundance mentality and who has a scarcity mentality.

Observe a team based sporting event. Do members of the team celebrate the success of their teammates or do they resent the attention received by the one who achieved? An abundance mentality among the team uses everyone's unique talent to win. A pervasive scarcity mentality will defeat the team from the inside out.

Ultimately, possessing a scarcity mentality is a disbelief that God has a plan for each person. As Christian leaders, we know that each person is called to do something different. It's what God uniquely chose for each of us when he gave us certain talents.

Not only did God choose our eye color and our hair color, but he equipped each of us with our own special set of talents to be used for his glory. When we use those talents in concert with others, rather than competing with others, we complete the work he gave for all of us to do.  

In our leadership, there are five ways we can demonstrate an abundance mentality.

1. People who have an abundance mentality foster other people's dreams. Sure they have dreams of their own, but they are interested in helping others achieve their dreams, too. They know progress for some is progress for all.

2. People who have an abundance mentality have confidence. They believe that God has a unique plan for their life and the achievements of others only complement his plan.

3. People who have an abundance mentality coach and mentor others. They share their time and talents to help others grow and achieve and they support the success of others.

4. People who have an abundance mentality are optimistic. They are positive in their outlook and rarely, if ever, complain. They see the best in others and celebrate it.

5. People who have an abundance mentality are generous. They freely share their talents, ideas, advice and expertise. They are not concerned with who gets the credit.

Great leaders have an abundance mentality and they nurture it with their teams to strengthen the culture of the team. Everywhere they look, they see opportunities for themselves and others. They realize that the achievements of others do not limit their own opportunity but actually paves the way for success by all.  

Dee Ann Turner

Dee Ann Turner is the Vice President, Enterprise Social Responsibility for Chick-fil-A, Inc and the author of It's My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or her Website.


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