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Mentality of Abundance for Transformational Leadership

By By Rahul Jain * and Vinutha Venkataraman **

It’s a rare rainy day in our city. As I look out of the window, I see people scampering for cover from the rain. I also need to go out to meet a friend though I don’t know his exact address. I have two choices before me. I can wear a rain coat or carry my big umbrella. I decide on the umbrella because I can offer a couple of persons cover from the rain. As I go out, and take in two people, one of them volunteers to guide me to the address I was looking for. This incident, taught me a valuable lesson -When you are thinking not only for yourself but also for others – in other words - abundance thinking, it helps everyone.

By this incident I realised that leadership in an organisation has lots of similarities. Later when I was discussing this incident with my Colleague Rahul, it occurred to us that it had equal applicability in leadership in an organisation. Successful leaders invariably take along everyone in the organisation irrespective of their levels. By reaching out to them, they are able to derive valuable inputs from everyone. Invariably, such leaders transform the core culture of the organisation. By looking out for needs of others, a leader serves not only his/her own cause but also that of others and more importantly that of the organisation.

Hence Abundance Mentality and Transformational Leadership go hand in hand. Transformational Leadership skills are magical in nature with a perspective that such skills can be acquired by consciously practicing them with consistency being the key. Such consistent behaviours create patterns which are easy and influential for people to experience and follow amongst their own teams. Some of the key skills of transformational leadership are:

• Empowering team members to take up responsibilities sometimes above their levels in the organisation or beyond their routine work.

• Listening to the overall viewpoints and arriving at the best solutions.

• Create a vision for self, team and organisation.

• Most importantly act as a change agent within the organisation. In other words transform leadership style.

For these skills to be mastered effectively, the ability to think and execute in “Abundance” is one of the most essential attributes to focus on. People must see that as a Leader you BELIEVE in yourself and in others’ potentials, capabilities and most importantly the firm belief that others can also lead. After all leaders keep changing, but the organisation stays on. So a True Leader will always look to groom the next leadership group. The most important aspect of such leadership to be truly transformational is for the Leader’s mind-set to create a space for the people of the organisation to also transform. To implement this, there has to be a transformation in the thought process of leaders. This is where the Abundance Mentality makes the leader even more successful. Abundance Mentality has two key aspects:

• The Giving Mind-set - Willingly giving more and constantly looking out for such opportunities.

• Trust Driven Mind-set than Control Driven Mind-set.

When Giving takes precedence over Taking & when Trust plays a bigger role than control in leadership attitude, the culture of the organisation undergoes a positive transformation. One of the examples is that of a common friend of ours, Manoj. He is the CEO of a medium sized company. He has cultivated the practice of treating his suppliers, investors, employees, and everyone else as if they were his best friends. His equation with them transcends the usual business relationship. This approach comes back to him in manifold.

Every one of them tries to do/offer their best for their close friend. Thus they all strive for the common good. Essentially they all make a part of a whole. This is a prime example of abundance thinking. Hence a leader with an abundance mind-set directly transforms an organisation creating a positive belongingness for people with the organisation. It’s not about one leader leading many, but many leaders leading many other leaders and potential leaders – the “Power of More”. Such leaders with abundance thinking create space for more abundant leaders.

Now let us consider an organisation with different leaders having opposite mind-sets i.e. Scarcity Mind-set and Abundance Mind-set. By Scarcity Mind-set, we signify a leader who concentrates all leadership and decision making processes in him/her. Abundance Mind-set as already explained is the opposite. With Technology growing at Giga speeds and innovation displacing many traditional modes of operation, it is critical that abundance thinking is likely to be more productive. Out of the Box thinking and creative solutions may be absolutely critical for a business to not only grow but even to survive. It is obvious that if inputs are encouraged from many as opposed to only one or two persons the result will be better. Thinking from a circle of influence helps leaders plan on collective good, collective solutions and collaboration. This creates a culture of Giving and getting into the habit of giving more. This in turn provides a win-win environment for both leaders and people who work with them. In other words, such leaders lead without even showing that they are leading but making all team members feel as leaders. Such leaders also ensure their people thrive and prosper with the same belief system leading the organisation together to greater success.

Both scarcity and abundance mind-sets are present in all leaders. Invariably, every leader operates out of both these mind-sets at certain times. What determines the success/failure of the leader is the degree to which one habit of thought dominates the other. The impact/outcome of abundance mind-set depends on the extent to which the leaders are conscious to practice abundance thinking consistently until it becomes a subconscious act of positive thinking. Abundance leadership mind-set creates a positive ripple effect in the entire organisation displacing the fear and control leadership mind-set.

As leaders let us wear our thinking hats to evaluate ourselves on the degree to which we are contributing as transformational leaders by applying the Power of Abundance Thinking.

* Rahul Jain is a Licensee, Leadership Management International- India Email Id-; Website:

** Vinutha Venkataraman is a Leadership Trainer at Leadership Management International-India. E-mail id:; Website:

References and Source Credits:
Proof Reading Support: K R Venkataraman

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