BSML’s Summary of Principles from:


By The Arbinger Institute


From the BSML Business Wisdom Series

Think of ...

  • The people in your life you most like
  • The person who has had the most positive influence on your life
  • Your best boss
  • The person who most inspires you to do your best
  • Your favourite co-workers
  • The acquaintances you most respect


What do they all have in common?

These people

  • Care about you as a person
  • Treat you with respect and attentiveness
  • Understand your hopes, dreams, challenges and fears
  • Are committed to your success
  • Influence your beliefs, thinking and behaviours
  • Have a positive impact on your life

Arbinger’s book “The Outward Mindset” asks

  • What is different about these people?
  • What can we learn from them?
  • How can we be more like them?
  • What impact would this understanding have on our work and home life?
  • What if organisations behaved like this?
  • What impact would it have on their results?

The primary theme of the book is that

Mindset drives and shapes all that we do – how we engage with others and how we behave in every moment and situation

Mindset also shapes how others respond to us and drives the quality of our relationships and personal success

The traditional behavioural model believes that behaviours drive results

Change the behaviours and you’ll change the results

There are two problems with this

Change the behaviours and you’ll change the results

  1. If you push people to change behaviour, they are likely to resist
  2. When you stop pushing, people will revert to their old behaviours



Because you haven’t changed their mindset and they are not committed to your change


So what?

Your change initiative has a low likelihood of success

The “leading with mindset” approach is slightly different

This approach has 4 times the likelihood of success compared to behavioral change only.

McKinsey & Co

So what is mindset?

  • How we see people
  • How we see situations
  • Whether we are committed to others’ success or just our own
  • Whether others are resistant to us and our objectives

There are two mindsets

Outward mindset leaders view others as important as themselves

The inward mindset sees others not as people, but as objects

The book has many case studies that explore these ideas

These cases show how our mindset affects our ability to get results

In the work place, the inward mindset manifests in two forms

Siloed Self-Interest (I solely focus on my needs, objectives and challenges and ignore others completely)

Outwardly Nice Self-Interest (I focus on others, but only to help me achieve my own objectives)

In summary, the outward mindset leader sees and behaves differently

1. They see the needs, objectives, fears and challenges of others
2. They adjust their efforts to be more helpful to others
3. They measure and hold themselves accountable for the impact of their work on others

About the Arbinger Institute

The Arbinger Institute is an international training and consulting firm that is recognized as a world leader in the areas of leadership, team building, conflict resolution, crisis management, culture change and human dynamics.

Arbinger’s clients range from individuals who are seeking help in their lives to many of the largest companies and governmental institutions in the world. Their global website is at

For more information on Arbinger locally or globally, contact our good friend John Cosgrove at or email him at


We work to respond to your enquiries as quickly as possible.


Tel: +64 (027) 454 9315

Office: NTT Building, Level 16, 157 Lambton Quay, Wellington