Do You Have a Goal Scoring Mindset

All my 3 kids are very sporty.  My middle daughter, Isabella has a dream of becoming a professional soccer player after getting a scholarship to play University Soccer in the US.

She has a lot of talent and is one of the most committed players that I know of when it comes to training and practice.  She is always looking for ways to improve her skills including watching hundreds of video clips of incredible soccer players from around the world (although sometimes this may be an excuse to procrastinate from doing homework!)
As she now plays in the Australian Women’s Premier League in the Under 15’s she has just started the season.  As a Striker, her job is to score goals as well as help set up other teammates so they can score goals. 

Just before the season started she was a little nervous.  “What if I don’t score any goals? I won’t be able to capture the footage and send it to the US Universities to get a scholarship?”  
We ended up having a wonderful discussion about her Mindset.  I remember asking her if she had a Goal Scoring Mindset. This is about when you walk onto the pitch at the beginning of the game can you look back at your preparation and be confident that you have done everything you can to earn the right to play? Also, do you believe in yourself and have the ability to refocus when you take a shot and it misses.

This makes me think about a lot of leaders.  Many of them are lacking a Goal Scoring Mindset or worse yet, they don’t know how to get their people to have a Goal Scoring Mindset.  I see this often when I am asked to come into an organisation and help them improve their leadership effectiveness. Too often the Senior Leaders have missed the important step of getting their people up to speed.  Here are a couple of recommendations to ensure you have a Goal Scoring Mindset:

Plan the Work:  As a leader, you need to take the time to plan the work that you are going to do with your people.  Map out what you are going to do to help them get the right mindset to help them perform at the highest level. This may require you to hack your leadership approach to improve the way you delegate, motivate or coach.

Demonstrate the Skills:  If we had more leaders that ‘walked the talk’ around how to lead and how to have a Goal Scoring Mindset, it would provide an example for their people to follow.  As a leader do not be afraid to jump into the trenches next to your people and do some of the processes that they should. If you make a mistake you show you are human and more importantly, build up respect. 

Keep them Motivated:  Once you gain some momentum on getting your people to have a Goal Scoring Mindset, you need to find ways to keep them engaged and focused.  Ensure that you recognise and reward the ‘score’ around the timeframes that you are playing (weekly, monthly, quarterly). This is an important activity that is often overlooked because many leaders use the excuse of being ‘too busy’. 

So how did she go in her first game?  She scored 3 goals (and 1 goal in her second game).  Will my daughter become a professional soccer player?  I don’t know but I will support her dream. What I do know is that with the commitment and talent that she has she has a wonderful opportunity if she wants it (she would also be great at many other areas including an incredible female CEO or business owner!)   By keeping a Goal Scoring Mindset anyone can stay on the right track.