Creating A Disruptive Mindset

By Patti Fletcher

1. Define your disrupter mindset.

Live as if your vision was a reality. For example, my vision is to change the way the world views female leaders and how female leaders view themselves in business, politics and society. To engender this type of change, I need to hold many new beliefs and actions, ones that will disrupt the status quo mindset.


I chose three disrupter mindsets that I must adopt and believe to be true. In order to live in a world where female leaders are seen as equal to men, I need many other people to also hold that belief. Therefore, I must value transformational leadership. Because there is incredible risk to my reputation, business opportunities and personal relationship, I also must view that risk as an enabler. Finally, because I am not a household name, I must believe that I can cultivate a platform that is used to orchestrate a new conversation.

As you consider your personal transformation, try to limit your mindset shifts to one to three only. It is too difficult to change too many things at once. After you have mastered a disrupter mindset, you can replace them with new focus areas.

2. Identify your status quo mindset.

For this next step, think about the mindset you hold that keeps the status quo alive. If I put more value in transactions than transformations, I would favor ego metrics — where the number of powerful people on my contact list matters — more than the value-based relationships I hold and cultivate.

The topic of gender equity is a passionate one and instills fear in the people who currently thrive in the current system. If I were one of those people, I would place greater emphasis on risk. The potential barriers that put my reputation, relationships and future at risk would consume my thoughts and would potentially cause me not to move forward.

Finally, the status quo mindset is that in order to be a person of influence, one who could drive meaningful transformation, you first have to work hard toward what you want, earn enough money and power and only then could you be a voice and leader of disruption.

3. Explain the impact of living your disrupter mindset.

Image: WOCinTech Chat via Flickr
Image: WOCinTech Chat via Flickr

Take a step back. Think about the impact of staying in the status quo mindset, where all your actions are driven by your existing behavior. Chances are, things will stay the same or get worse. We live in a world of constant change that results in increasing complexity. If you don’t change your mindset and, ultimately, your behavior, no change will happen. Even if it does, it might not be the change you believe to be needed.

Now, consider the impact of moving from a status quo mindset to that of a disrupter. In the example above, the building blocks of cultural transformation are place. Through rich, trusting and mutually relationships, stakeholders and supporters will be able to help navigate barriers by turning them into strategies waiting to happen. In short, every risk becomes an opportunity to disrupt what’s not working or what’s in the way, clearing the path for the people coming behind you


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