Delancey Street in San Francisco is a rare phenomenon. It contains multiple businesses that are run by ex-convicts, homeless people, and drug abusers…and it has a 90% success rate with converting people in to productive citizens that no longer commit crimes, do drugs or live on the streets. 14,000 people have gone through the “Delancey Street” program to date.
Impressive numbers so what does it have to do with leadership?
Dr. Mimi Silbert found early on that she only had to focus on getting all who went through her program to change two thoughts that led to destructive behavior. These two thoughts were “care only about yourself, and don’t rat on anyone.” So she requires them to take responsibility for someone else’s’ success and she demands that everyone confront everyone else on every single violation.
Notice how if they do the two things she requires of them they automatically have to let go of “care only about yourself and don’t rat on anyone.” Their brain energy can’t be on themselves, it has to be on everyone else.
Now I want you to think about all the behaviors that naturally align with the thinking of “care only about yourself and don’t rat on anyone.” You would most likely see the following: people getting verbally and physically defensive, people building walls up to protect themselves, people not letting others getting close to them, people becoming suspicious of others, and people trying to watch their own back.
Now let’s flip to where you need to be responsible for someone else’s success and you have to confront others immediately if they are in violation. This means you have to learn how to dialogue, you have to stay focused on others rather than yourself, you have to learn to compliment, you have to learn to watch for someone’s success, you learn pride when someone else succeeds, you learn to teach others, and the list can go on and on.
This brings me back to you, as a leader. If you want to change your team you need to change the way they think and act on in just a few ways. Ask yourself, what you want the team to do and then what they need to think in order to be able do what you are asking of them. Now go back and create the behavior that aligns with the new thinking.