In our last article, we showed how the Stone Soup Fable offers a contrast between abundance and scarcity mentality. In this and coming articles we will explore the difference between abundance and scarcity mentality and how they both are necessary mindsets for leaders and managers. We will show how abundance mentality is a powerful attribute for effective leadership. Without it there is no compelling vision. How scarcity mentality is a powerful attribute for effective management. Without it there is no synergism. And that without both working in tandem, there is no growth or maximizing of resources. In this article we will unpack the meaning of abundance mentality and its importance in leadership.
What Is Abundance Mentality?
Abundance Mentality is a belief that God has more than enough resources for everyone and every organization. Maybe not all that we want, but certainly all that we need. It is the belief that when one person, organization or church has success it never decreases other’s ability to have success too. It is the opposite of the idea that the “size of the pie” is fixed. It is the belief that God’s pie is unlimited. In fact, abundance is a natural occurrence in all of creation and is a God modeled mentality and behavior that we can consciously choose.
In Genesis, God created in abundance. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” And in 2 Corinthians 9:8 Paul reminds us that, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” Abundance represents God’s unlimited power and gives us reason for hope in every situation. An abundance mentality believes that in God’s economy there is an infinite supply of resources and opportunities.
Author Henri Nouwen offers examples of abundance: “There is enough for everyone, more than enough: food, knowledge, love . . . everything. When we see hungry people, we give them food . . . when we encounter people in need of love, we offer them friendship . . . When we live with this mindset, we will see the miracle — that what we give away multiplies. There will even be many leftovers.”
Abundance Mentality And Visionary Leadership
An abundance mindset is crucial for effective leadership for it is essential in discerning and casting compelling vision. By definition vision is a vivid picture of a preferred future that requires resources beyond those that an individual, church or organization currently possess. Effective vision requires a “sky is the limit” and an “unlimited possibilities” type of thinking. Effective vision sets bold goals that expand possibilities and stretch resources. Effective vision fosters optimism and a growth mentality. This type of vision requires an abundance mindset that emboldens a church to truly believe that with God, all things are possible, and to act on that belief.
Early in his career in South Africa, Mohandas Gandhi had developed an aggressive vision and was working toward it. One day, a wealthy man from another country volunteered to join Gandhi and help resource his vision. The man asked, “Aren’t you surprised that someone like me has shown up like this?” Gandhi replied, “No.” He went on to point out that when one discovers the right vision and begins to pursue it, the necessary people and resources tend to turn up.
This story illustrates abundance mentality. When you have discovered God’s vision and begin to act on that vision, this process introduces new information and attracts new resources that moves the vision forward. An abundance mentality means acting on a vision that exceeds our current resources and having the faith that God will provide. A visionary leader with an abundance mentality does not let present resources determine the future.
Key Traits Of An Abundance Mindset
Here are some typical traits of leaders with an abundance mindset:
- Thinking big: They tend to think big, rather than limit themselves to simply a current view of their circumstances.
- Growth mindset: They have the belief that they and their organization can continue to grow and aren’t stuck with the current reality.
- Optimism: They focus on what they have and could have, rather than what they lack.
- Possibility Thinking: They think in terms of possibilities rather than limitations.
- Knowing there’s enough to go around: They believe there is a limitless supply of human, financial, physical and spiritual resources.
- Generosity of spirit: They know that in God’s economy if you give more you get more.
- Embracing change: They accept and embrace rather than resist change.
- Taking action: They take a proactive approach to life by seizing opportunities and working toward their goals.
- Planning ahead: They plan for the future rather than waiting around for things to happen.
- An open mind: They keep an open mind and continue to learn rather than believing they already know it all.
- Know their strengths and weaknesses: They identify their strengths and use these attributes to pursue goals. They accept their shortcomings and refuse to be limited by them.
Developing an abundance mindset isn’t always easy. It may not happen overnight. Hard realities can sometimes cause us to get too caught up in scarcity thinking. But with the right support system and a commitment to these attributes, you can recognize and change thought patterns toward an abundance mindset.
Posted on June 7, 2022