Leading with a Maven Mindset

Being a leader is tough; it involves long hours, hard conversations, a willingness to make the decisions that no one else wants to, but to be a good leader, that takes a Maven Mindset.

Leadership is a hot topic around HAVEN because it is crucial to building community within our client organizations. Leadership is the key variable when we work with clients to define core values or when we host a pivot session to align an organization’s marketing strategy with its goals.

Throughout her work, our founder Jeni Bukolt has developed a leadership philosophy that we call the Maven Mindset. This philosophy is straightforward: leaders are most effective when they invest in learning, listening and creating a culture of bravery. Leading with a Maven Mindset in practice involves four mindset changes in our leaders.

Leading with a Maven Mindset: Culture of Learning

Organizations need to foster a culture of learning and personal and professional development.

Professional development is more than just attending learning conferences or listening to podcasts. Leading with a Maven Mindset happens when our teams weave learning throughout their day-to-day work.

We should give space for small teachable moments throughout the day, like a refresher in a piece of technology or explaining an industry best practice. This culture should include cross-training to ensure everyone knows something about every part of their team function.

Leading with a Maven Mindset: Sincerely Ask for Feedback

Supporting teammates, employees or staff means knowing when you have to stop talking and start listening. This is especially key when things aren’t working the way they should be or it’s unclear how success should look.

Sincerely asking for feedback is impossible if you’re only willing to solicit it during annual or bi-annual reviews. Understanding your team’s needs and concerns is most effectively done when you give space to hear feedback organically or at frequent, regular intervals at a minimum.

Leading with a Maven Mindset: Don’t Just Listen, Act

Taking feedback is useless to you and your team if you don’t react to what you hear. The Maven Mindset happens when leaders focus on fixing the problems identified during teammate feedback.

One of the worst things anyone can do when building company culture or credibility among a group of people is to listen to their concerns and ignore them. It is essential to communicate back to your teams when and how to address that feedback, whether it is a minor issue quickly handled or an institutional problem that will require time and resources.

Leading with a Maven Mindset: Practicing Radical Candor & Bravery

There is one final ingredient to the Maven Mindset: bravery. Sometimes things don’t work; not every day will be sunny and not everyone will get along every day. This is the human condition and, as leaders, we have to address these issues when they come up. To do this, we must practice bravery and the concept of Radical Candor.

Respecting and valuing your team means being willing to have tough conversations with them. Without accountability or clear expectations, things fall through the cracks and people feel lost. When we have those tough conversations and foster a culture of bravery, often beautiful things come from those moments: mutual respect, unthought-of solutions or simply, trust.

Leading with a Maven Mindset isn’t easy, but we firmly believe it’s worth every moment. Learn more about the Maven Mindset by having Jeni speak to your leadership team.