Supposing that you can’t change the thinking. If this is so; where does that leave the leader in today’s “split down the middle” workplace? I repeat; it’s a chore.
People come into the workforce with a whole bundle of preconceived attitudes, beliefs and values. Their choices have been developed over long periods of time and passed on by those that they have most likely have held dear to them. There is no room for these outside influences in your workplace; but because they are there and exist no matter how hard you might try to ignore them, they can not be set aside. You must face them straight on.
What you can do is weaken those influences by setting an example that can not be competed with. The strength of the outside influence is the only thing appropriate to challenge.
I have always found that the best attack is to establish skill sets within the workforce that encourage the individual to be just that; an individual. This step is only the beginning. Time is not on your side; but the longer you have their attention, the better progress you will be able to achieve.
Comparatively speaking, attitude is probably the easiest of the three to influence. A positive attitude is contagious and takes very little work to propagate. Just project that attitude everyday. The spreading effect is on your side. The example you set here is extremely important. Don’t ever let down. The slightest setback can undo a world of progress.
Don’t forget: slipping backwards is a lot easier than going forward; its just human nature to do so. People have to be removed from an undesirable environment for a long period of time for real change to take place and hold on.
Beliefs can only be changed by success and it has to be continued success at that. Short term success will have very little impact on beliefs. Beliefs that come over time will be set in stone; that’s the same way they developed their preconceived beliefs. Don’t look for miracles and be especially pleased with minor advances.
Stress is the biggest deterrent to allowing progress to be maintained. Look for ways to release stress as it builds. One of the best ways to combat this that I have used over the years is the group lunch. People tend to open up more over food mixed with camaraderie than any other situation I have found. Try it.