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  • Writer's picturejoel

The Mentality of Building a Team

Do you believe that there are enough good candidates out there to build a great team? This requires a positive and optimistic mentality and a belief that you can find and attract the right people to your team.


Scarcity Mentality vs. Abundant Mentality:

Mentality – An outward awareness of my environment.

When it comes to success in business, our mentality is often just as important as skills and experience. Two mentalities that are commonly discussed in the world of business are scarcity mentality and abundant mentality.


In this model, we will explore the origin of scarcity mentality vs. abundant mentality, provide examples of each and discuss how each mentality can affect a leader's ability to recruit team members for their small business.


The concept of scarcity mentality vs. abundant mentality was first introduced by Stephen Covey in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Covey describes scarcity mentality as a perspective that is based on the belief that there is not enough to go around and that resources are limited. This mentality leads to a fear-based approach to life, where individuals focus on protecting their own interests and hoarding resources. In contrast, Covey describes abundant mentality as a perspective that is based on the belief that there is plenty for everyone and that opportunities are limitless. This mentality leads to a generous approach to life, where individuals focus on creating opportunities for others and sharing resources.


Scarcity Mentality:

A scarcity mentality focuses on the limited resources available and the need to hold onto what you have for fear of losing them. When we have a scarcity mentality, we see the world through a skewed or biased perspective. Our focus gets stuck on what we believe is not possible or attainable. Many leaders feel there are so few good employees out there and that it doesn’t seem worth the effort to look for them and hire them. Afterall they are just going to quit anyway, they reason. Their experience reinforces this expectation, and their expectation directs their future experience. It’s a downward spiral, a degenerative loop. Pessimism often naturally dovetails with a scarcity mentality. This may be your que that you are a scarce thinker.


The problem is real, there are challenges in the job market that we may have never had to face before. But when we are so focused on the problem, we get distracted from any potential ideas for solutions. It is impossible to embrace the problem as unsolvable and at the same time focus on a viable solution. That produces cognitive dissidence in our brain, the discomforting attempt to simultaneously justify opposing ideas. Our brains don’t work that way. In addition, when we don’t challenge our own assumptions, they will never change. We get stuck in a pattern of helpless thinking.


Abundant Mentality:

An abundant mentality is the belief that there is enough success, happiness, and prosperity to go around. People with an abundant mentality focus on abundance rather than scarcity and see opportunities everywhere. They believe that success is not a finite resource and that there is enough to share with others. There is enough money out there to make, enough employees out there to attract and enough customers that have a need that they can meet.

My friend Kerry and I started a leadership academy in Des Moines a few years ago. We brought our leaders together and invited others from outside our company as outreach to teach leadership skills to local leaders who wish to grow in their industry. What is interesting is that, like me, Kerry owned several pizza restaurants in the same city. My strength is in leadership and Kerry is a true entrepreneur. Together we have a greater range of expertise. We are friends, but in some people’s eyes, we were direct competitors in a ferociously competitive industry. People would ask us how we could partner together to grow our people while competing against each other for market share. Our answer would always be the same. There are plenty of potential employees and customers out there and sharpening each other helps us both get a leg up on the competition. There is plenty of room for more than one successful pizza company in Des Moines Iowa. I am ok if there are only two, however.


An abundant mentality is important when it comes to setting and achieving personal goals and benchmarks. When we approach our goals with an abundant mentality, we are more likely to collaborate with others, share our successes, and celebrate the achievements of those around us. This attitude allows us to create a positive and supportive environment that can help us achieve our goals.


How Scarcity Mentality Effects Leaders Recruiting Team Members:

Your mentality can have a significant impact on a leader’s ability to recruit team members for your small business. If you have a scarcity mentality, you may find it challenging to attract top talent because:

· Lack of Trust: If you have a scarcity mentality, you may be less likely to trust potential team members. This lack of trust can make it difficult for candidates to feel comfortable and confident in your organization. When you expect little from people, they will sense it and live down to your expectations. Your skepticism will spew out. You can’t hide it; you can only fix it. No one is looking to work for a leader that puts an obstacle of pessimism in front of them from the start.

· Limited Resources: A scarcity mentality can lead to a focus on limited resources, which can make it difficult to offer competitive compensation packages or invest in employee development programs. This can prove challenging to attract top talent who are seeking opportunities for growth and advancement when there is no sign of it in your company. When your offer does not go beyond your compensation package, potential team members will see their future with your company as capped. They are searching for greater opportunity and may very well keep looking or at best, settle for a time, until something better comes along.

· Fear of Failure: If you have a scarcity mentality, you may be more risk-averse when it comes to hiring decisions. This fear of failure can lead you to play it safe and settle for candidates who may not be the best fit for your team or organization but may be less likely to leave when your lack of leadership is discovered. A pattern of failure and wasting your time sets in and begins to determine your future expectations. Einstein said the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. When the only way you know is an unsuccessful way, it may be time to think outside the box.

· Hoarding Valuable Information or Resources: A scarcity mentality can also lead to a lack of transparency and collaboration within your team. You may see others in the company as a competitive threat or may cause you to look bad by comparison. If you are not willing to share information or involve your team in decision-making processes, potential candidates may view your organization as closed-off and uninviting. They would be right.

If you have an abundant mentality, you may find it easier to attract top talent because:

· Collaborative Environment: An abundant mentality can create an inclusive, collaborative environment where team members feel valued and supported. A collaborative environment operates inter-dependently and not as individuals doing their own separate thing. This can make it easier to attract candidates who are looking for a positive and collaborative work environment.

· Willingness to Be Assertive: If you have an abundant mentality, you may be more willing to take initiative when it comes to hiring decisions. This willingness to take risks can lead you to consider candidates who may not have the most traditional qualifications, but who have the potential to creatively bring value to your team.

· Trusting Relationships: An abundant mentality can also create trusting relationships between you and potential team members. If you are open and transparent with candidates, they may feel more comfortable and confident in their decision to join your organization. Let them know up front that their development is important to you and the organization and creating opportunity is a core value of the company. If it’s not important to you, don’t lie to them. Get yourself fixed first.

· Sharing Information: Finally, an abundant mentality can lead to a culture of transparency and collaboration within your team. If you are willing to share valuable information and involve your team in decision-making processes, potential candidates will view your organization as open and welcoming.


To be a successful leader and recruit top talent for your small business, it is important to cultivate an abundant mentality and focus on creating opportunities for others. By doing so, you can build a positive and collaborative work environment that attracts top talent and leads to long-term success for your organization.

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