Survival or Substance Mindset

A prominent Juvenile Court Judge in our State retired some years back and a statement she made in her final public presentation has always stuck with me. She said that in her 30-something years as a judge, every child and teen that appeared before her had one thing in common – they had never played a team sport.

Today I watched my 15 year old son Sam’s soccer game, and as I marvelled at what a fast game it was, it occurred to me that success in the game depended on a mindset that I would refer to as a ‘substance’ mindset. I also witnessed a ‘survival mindset’ event.

To be successful, the players needed to:

  • feel safe and confident enough to engage assertively
  • pass the ball to another team member who may be in a better position to score the goal, giving away the glory
  • know their team members and their strengths, weaknesses and habitual plays, and work WITH that reality not against it
  • communicate constantly with each other on the run in ‘shortcode’ so that they all knew where each other was and who was in a position to help

and the one I admired the most….

  • immediately let go any emotion around an attack from the opposition, a bad play from a fellow team player, or a bad play from themselves….and instantly focus on what needs to happen next to keep the game moving toward a successful outcome.

This game doesn’t stop for anyone (except the Referee). There is no time to wallow on the past….literally. In every instance, what a team member decides to do next – emotionally and in terms of play- is what matters most, and it impacts the entire team and can significantly impact the outcome. One bad mood can lose a game.

This is a ‘substance mindset’ – a mastery over one’s human responses in challenging situations.

In the workplace this is what survival and substance mindsets look like.

Shifting From Survival To Substance

Time to ask yourself: Are you and your team operating from a Survival or a Substance mindset? What impact is that having?

Social Share:
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Play Video

Get the Latest Insights in Your Inbox

Get Our Latest Insights

We regularly blog and go live with webinars and podcasts. Subscribe to keep updated

What it is to “Be Human”

Scientists have learnt more about the human brain in the last 30 years than in all of history, particularly in the area of cognitive and …

Read More
Human Agency and Organisational Potential

Human Agency and Organisation Potential

Human Agency is a potential game changer in organisations. Leaders who understand this and shape for the good of our teams and organisations have a great opportunity to impact

Read More
Process to Rewiring Your Brain

Four Steps to Rewiring Your Brain

Rewiring your brain is simple (conceptually). Think about a habit or behaviour you would like to REWIRE and try this four-step model for yourself.

Read More