Success Matters: #39 August 2012
Mindset 201: Mindset, Transparency & Leadership

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Gerrie Dresser,
The Executive / Personal Brand Coach for High Achieving Leaders and Pivotal Leadership Teams . . .

Coaching you to articulate your unique value, stand out IN a crowd, and create sustainable career success!

Conversations and strategies about how to stand out IN a crowd and create sustainable success while making a difference through high impact contributions.

A Message from Gerrie


Do you remember the 2012 Summer Olympics? With the end of summer just around the corner, it seems like the Summer Olympics is a distant memory with all the flurry of activities with the start of September.

But, let’s go back to the start of the Olympics and media coverage of Michael Phelps, promoting him as the greatest athlete of all times (thank you, Bob Costas!) during an interview before the Olympic Games even started

So, I wondered if Phelps would succumb to the fixed mindset that was referenced in the July edition of
Success Matters. It sets in when someone experiences BIG success and begins to fear failure so rather than grow, they stay stuck in a plateau.

It wasn’t even 48 hours after Phelps’ first interview when the media headline read, “Michael Phelps' Olympic reign has come to an end -- he finished in fourth place in the 400 IM, not even getting a medal.” You know the story . . . American Ryan Lochte took the gold, the first for the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics.

Fortunately, Michael Phelps moved past this one setback and took on the challenge, ending with 22 medals earned in his Olympic swimming career.

Phelps has had years of intensive training on the winning mindset, so he quickly shifted his mindset and won the gold in the next Olympic event. We can only assume that he . . .

  • Raised his awareness of the challenge and stood firm in his belief that he would win the next race
  • Embraced all the winning mindset training he received over the years
  • Committed to taking decisive action (which he did to achieve his goal!)

What did you notice when you took on the Coaching Challenge listed in the July edition . . . identify a goal that you want to achieve, but something distracts you just as you get close to the goal.

It is the first step in shifting your mindset,
Awareness! The second step in Education, so this month’s Feature Article focuses on an important concept for leaders at ALL levels to consider … What does Mindset have to do with Leadership & Transparency?

Enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend,


Gerrie Dresser
Executive l Personal Brand Coach
Who helps high achieving leaders

stand out IN a crowd . . . DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF!

P.S. – Are you ready to Stretch Your Vision? Check out your invitation to the Mindset, Leadership & Money Retreat on October 12!

P.P.S. - Early Bird Registration ends on
Tuesday, September 4 – just a few days away! Seats are already filling up, so you want to make sure you don’t miss this inaugural event.

Features:  What's Included ...

Speaking Events . . . Special Event – Friday, October 12!

Mindset, Leadership & Money Retreat!

Our first LIVE Event … a Retreat with
Gerrie Dresser and Stephanie McCullough!

  • Friday, October 12, 2012 – 8:30am – 3:00pm: LIVE Retreat, co-facilitated by Gerrie Dresser and Stephanie McCullough of Sofia Financial
Radnor Corporate Center, 100 Matson Ford Rd., Building 4
Radnor, PA 19087

Early Bird Registration ends on Tuesday, September 4!

So, if you’re ready to stretch your vision of success and shift your mindset from struggle and frustration to clarity and focus, register now! There is limited seating to foster the conversation, community, and personal attention that is critical to shift your mindset and focus.

  • Wednesday, September 19 – NEW DATE: “A Panel Discussion: Redesign Your Career for Success - Even during Adversity 
    Sponsor: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Mid-Atlantic Chapter
    Location: AstraZeneca, 1800 Concord Pike Wilmington, DE
    Date / Time: Wednesday, September 19: 4:30pm – 8:00pm
  • Monday, September 24 – Friday, November 16: “Leadership in Practice – Equanimity Under Duress”
    Sponsor: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA)
    Location: Virtual program divided into six modules, featuring five HBA industry thought leaders with insight from two executive coaches*, concluding with a reception at 2012 HBA Leadership Conference
    *Executive Coaches: Gerrie Dresser; Diane Summers
    Date / Time:
    Six week program, starting with Kick-Off, week of September 24 and ending with Reception, week of November 5
  • Tuesday, October 2: “The Art & Science of Building and Leading High Performance Teams 
    Sponsor: SIM Philadelphia Chapter
    Location: Doubletree Hotel, 237 Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA
    Date / Time:
    Tuesday, October 2: 3:30pm – 5:00pm (Dinner Meeting, 5:00pm – 8:00pm)

To learn more about Gerrie’s speaking and make a referral to your organization, click on link:

Phone: 610-429-0359

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Feature Article:
"Mindset 201: Mindset, Transparency & Leadership"

“What does Mindset have to do with Leadership and Transparency?”

The role of the 21st century leader is increasing in complexity. When leaders of today are faced with challenges and crises, the ‘fight or flight’ response is often triggered, resulting in less than endearing behavior.

Yet, transparency is gaining recognition as the new leadership imperative with emotional awareness and self-management being foundational skills for any leader. If we consider the difference between a fixed vs. a growth mindset, then it’s a matter of awareness and education about what it takes to manage your emotions even when you’re under fire.

According to Malcolm Gladwell, a company that cannot self-correct, cannot survive. Other researchers noted that a growth or fixed mindset is often the critical factor in a company’s success or downfall. For example, the blueprint for the Enron culture focused on a talent mindset in which ‘talent’ was worshipped. No one admitted that they were wrong nor did they correct their mistakes, reflecting a big gap in transparency. As you may recall, the company imploded in 2001.

Leaders whose brand is that of a ‘brutal boss’ (perceived or real) foster a fixed mindset, because they instill fear in their organization, and thus suppress learning and development. People fear being judged, so the company is negatively impacted because it’s difficult for courage and innovation to survive in this type of culture.

But, how do you know if you’re perceived in a way that fosters innovation or fear? You may encourage creativity and risk-taking 85% - 90% of the time, but if you hit a cycle of personal challenge when stress and challenges trigger an emotional response, it may put your people in a tail spin.

From a growth mindset, the most important response is to be upfront with your organization with ‘appropriate transparency’, i.e., use good judgment about WHAT you share (too much information [TMI] doesn’t serve anyone in this instance). Acknowledge your response and refocus on their successes and contributions.

According to researchers on mindset and leadership, there are a few behaviors that you can begin to implement, immediately:

  • Negotiation is an advanced communication skill. Negotiators with a growth mindset are able to push past obstacles and reach agreement that benefits both sides. So, go into a negotiation with an open mind about options that would result in a win-win outcome.
  • Talent development is indicative of a growth mindset. Managers with a growth mindset are sensitive to their employee’s development, recognize their improvement, and provide more effective coaching. Managers with a fixed mindset hold onto their initial impressions, and often stifle behavior that results in higher performance.
  • Leaders with a growth mindset are open to improving their own capabilities. They often seek out feedback from their peers, direct reports, and senior management. They are not threatened, but rather consider it an opportunity to grow as more effective leaders.

In other words, they practice transparency and authenticity and model a growth mindset, often resulting in a higher performing and innovative organization.

The Coaching Challenge below is designed to help you take the second of 3 SIMPLE steps to shift your mindset:
Step 2, Education.

Your Coaching Challenge: In the month ahead, be the observer of your behavior when something triggers you that could set off an automatic ‘fight or flight’ response. How do you react?

  • Do you experience frustration and impatience with the issue, stuck and not able to access options?
  • Do you consider it a learning opportunity and grow from it?
  1. Make a note about how either response may impact your organization.
  2. Identify another way of handling it that would help others to know you and understand your thinking.

People are more loyal and compassionate when they know you as a person.

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Unique Genius Coaching


Coaching is a confidential partnership between you, the Client, and your Coach to help you achieve your next level of success faster and with greater focus and clarity. Some of the benefits include . . .

  • Positions you as a more influential leader
  • Earn the respect and trust of other leaders across all functional areas
  • Other leaders easily recognize what's different, relevant and unique about you
  • Create loyal ‘brand advocates’ who endorse you
  • Helps you forge collaborative partnerships across the organization
  • You are sought out to lead high visibility, highly leveraged and credible projects

Gerrie Dresser is an ICF credentialed Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and practical, innovative executive l personal brand coach and thought leader. She delivers high impact individual and team coaching through the Unique Genius™ Coaching Model.

If you’re ready to step into a bigger game for your work / life, contact Gerrie for a complimentary Unique Genius strategic consultation at  ($187 Value)

For more information about Gerrie:

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