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When it comes to brilliant leadership, there’s no one exact model. Many different leadership styles work equally well, and while their styles may vary, successful leaders share very similar mindsets.

The term “mindset” means a mental attitude or inclination. Attitude determines behavior, and behavior produces specific results. If a leader is getting effective results from those they’re leading, the leader is having a positive impact on them, and, therefore, themselves. But the opposite is also true: Negative results lead to a negative impact, which ultimately fosters feelings of negativity. There are multiple facets to possessing a leadership mindset, not the least of which involves choosing to live life “at cause.”

Being at cause implies that a person accepts full responsibility for what they’ve accomplished and experienced, in addition to what they will accomplish. They see the world as a place of opportunity and chance, and move toward accomplishing their goals, whether business or personal. When someone at cause sees a situation not leading to their desired outcome, they take ownership and look for ways to adjust the path to the outcome. They recognize what they can control, and, more importantly, they know they have a choice in what they do and how they respond to individuals and situations.

The flip side of that is called being “at effect,” or also known as having a victim mentality. When someone is at effect, they may blame other people or various external conditions for what they haven’t accomplished, or for obstacles they may face. They often rely upon others with the end goal being for them to like themselves. Rather than recognizing and believing that another person or external factor can cause them to be successful, they’re a casualty to their conditions. One of the best examples of this, as seen in real estate, is the agent that gets licensed and then waits for the phone to ring.

Being at cause shows an understanding that an individual has options throughout life. They can pick what’s best for them and consider the ecology of that decision on the people around them, including team members, employees and family. Stated more simply, they consider the outcomes of their activities on others. The individuals who live at effect may regularly observe themselves or experience their lives as casualties, feeling like they have no power to make any decisions at all. It’s interesting to note that someone living at effect, while they feel they have no choices, has in fact made the decision to give away their choices.

Everyone will find themselves on a sliding scale between cause and effect, and it’ll vary from day to day, minute to minute even. What makes a leader really stand out is the self-awareness when they’re at effect to get back into cause and take ownership of their actions and results.

Sara Guldi of The Guldi Group is a 13-year veteran of real estate. She lives in Florida and has a team in Maryland that consistently exceeds $20 million in production annually, with an average sales prices of approximately $1465K. In their best year, The Guldi Group did $64 million in production, and they attribute their long-term success to a strong commitment to systems and coaching. Guldi’s passion is coaching, and she loves helping others build amazing business and lives using the performance coaching systems developed by Workman Success Systems. Contact her at

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