Webinar Notes: Leadership Through the Self Fulfilling Prophesy

Overview (03:10)

  • 41 Million results when you Google search the question
  • Every leader has their own definition and interpretation
  • Quotes from Leaders

    • “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
    • “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
    • “Do or do not. There is no try.” –Yoda
    • “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein
    • “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai
  • Quotes about Leadership from:

    • Lao Tzu
    • Arnold Glasow
    • Martin Luther King Jr
    • Mark Sanborn
    • Nelson Mandela
    • John F. Kennedy
    • Ronald Reagan
    • Bill George
    • John Buchan
    • John Wolfgang Von Goethe  
  • Self-Reflection Activity

    • What is leadership?
    • What is a leader?
    • Is “boss” the same as “leader”?
    • How do you think YOU qualify as a leader?
    • How do you pick a leader?
    • What are the characteristics of a leader?
    • Who is the best leader for you?
    • Who is the worst leader for you?


What is Leadership? (06:05)

  • Managing

    • Being someone’s boss
    • Logistical
    • Administrative
    • Setting standards and goals
    • Being a resource to help others improve
    • Removing obstacles for others
    • Coordinating, strategizing, delegating
  • Leading

    • Building trust & rapport
    • Making decisions for the good of all, not self-serving
    • Setting an example
    • Inspiring others
  • Self-Reflection Activity

    • Who is the best leader for you?
    • Who is the worst leader for you?
  • What “wake” do you leave?

    • Wake

      • Path on the water that a boat leaves behind it
      • Based on the book Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud
    • You can tell a lot about the boat and its driver based on the wake it’s leaving

      • Rough
      • Uneven
      • Unpredictable
      • Crooked
      • Smooth
      • Even
      • Steady
    • In organizations, wakes are left based on your:

      • Tasks

        • Goals
        • Productivity
      • Relationship

        • People feel better having known you
        • Leaving with people wishing they haven’t known you
  • Leadership is influence

    • People want to follow and emulate good leaders


What is Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (08:49)

  • Self-Reflection Activity

    • Who are you?
    • Think of 5 words to describe who are you

      • What do you think of yourself?
      • What you think others think of you?
  • Different factors influencing what we think of ourselves

    • Parents
    • Friends
    • Spouse / Partner
    • Children
    • Peers
    • Church, organization, community
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

    • The term “self-fulfilling prophecy” (SFP) was coined in 1948 by Robert Merton
    • Describes “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true.”
  • Self-Reflection Activity

    • Think of something your parents said to you which influenced your perception of who you are…
    • Do you think it is true?
    • Challenge it.
  • The Mask You Live In

    • A documentary dissecting the expectations people have of masculinity
    • Activity in the documentary

      • Take a sheet of paper
      • Write down on one side words that describe the mask you show to others
      • On the flipside, words that describe you and the things that you don’t show other people
  • Cognitive Dissonance

    • The anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, values, etc.
    • Trying to justify contradicting beliefs
  • Most influence comes from

    • Influencers whose opinion matters
    • Repeated messages
    • Same message from multiple sources
  • “He wears a mask and his face grows to fit in it” – George Orwell

    • Putting on a façade, pretending to be it that it ends up becoming who we are
  • You can influence others the way you’re influenced by them

    • What message are you sending to other people?


Learning Through Repetition (16:50)

  • The process

    • Hearing / Knowing
    • Believing / Acknowledging
    • Remembering
    • Acting / Behaving
  • Flashcards are a perfect example of a tool that utilizes learning through repetition

    • The more you hear a message, the stronger the learning becomes
  • Examples of positive and negative messages you may hear or say

    • As a skill is practiced or rehearsed over days and weeks, the activity becomes easier and easier
    • Naturally forcing the skill to a subconscious level where it becomes permanently stored for recall and habitual use at any time
    • Practicing something then makes it your default state
  • Application

    • What message do you send to others repeatedly?


Reframing (20:52)

  • In therapy

    • Take someone’s perception of an event, person, thing, etc. and reframe it into a more positive perspective through positive positioning
    • Looking at something from a different perspective
    • Speaking/Acting on the new perspective
  • Example

    • Therapy: I’m a worthless person because even my own parents didn’t love me.
    • Reframed: My parents did not want children, and they were very selfish while raising me. It isn’t because of anything I did right or wrong – they would have been that way with any child. I am still a valuable person on my own.
  • Practice reframing

    • Reframing negative messages for a more positive self-fulfilling prophecy.

      • “You are a bad employee.”

        • Reframing: “Let’s find a way to improve your ability to be on time.”
      • “You’re a drama queen whiney baby.”

        • Reframing: “You seem to be having a really difficult time; have you tried to find resources to help with this?”
      • “You always make a mess of everything.”
      • “You’re a liar.”
    • Reframing positive messages for a more positive self-fulfilling prophecy.

      • “Your work is good.”

        • You give a lot of effort to your work.
        • You always meet deadlines.
      • “You are very organized.”
  • Self-Reflection Activity

    • Think of some messages you send regularly, and reframe them. List 2.


Overcoming Negative Self Fulfilling Prophecy (SFP) We’ve Received (27:24)

  • What messages do you hear…

    • When you’re making decisions?

      • It is critical
    • When you do something well?
    • When you make a mistake?

      • Is it criticizing?
  • Self-Reflection Activity

    • Think about the things that you listed in the “Who am I?” phase of this training course.

      • Divide into positive & negative
      • Take the negative ones, one by one, and reframe the message you receive/hear.
      • Input your own real beliefs or thoughts, ignoring the influencer’s words. Replace with your own truth.
      • Read the new messages, several times.


Stigma/Bias as SFP (29:27)

  • Forms of bias:

    • Bullying
    • Media
    • Law enforcement criticism
    • Race, gender, age, socioeconomic status
  • Influencers

    • The more the opinion of the influencer matters to you, the more weight the message carries.

      • Parents
      • Friends
      • Spouse/Significant Other
      • Children
      • Peers
      • Church, organization, community
    • The greater number of influencers sending the same message, the more influence the message has.
    • The more public the message of the influencer, the deeper the influence of the message.

      • Aggravated by social media aka public humiliation.
  • Cognitive dissonance

    • Your mind will want to fix the conflict.
    • Do the work to make sure your own truth wins.


Application (33:01)

  • Self-awareness exercise

    • Parents’ perception of me
    • My own perception of me
    • Show yourself your own flashcards and learn from repetition
    • Remember that as a leader, you can influence others



Integrity by Henry Cloud | Goodreads

Character and Servant Leadership by Larry Spears | ResearchGate

The Mask You Live In | Netflix

Principles of Learning

Principles of Learning: Repetition

Leadership Through the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy FREE Access

What is Leadership? | Inc.com

Learning by Repetition: Does it Work?

Why is Repetition Important to Learning?

Repetition is the Mother of All Learning

Basic Guidelines to Reframing – to Seeing Things Differently


The Five Love Languages


For questions and clarifications, contact:


Academy Hour




Attendees’ Comments:


One audience member suggested the website http://www.netsmartz.org/ with great content for parents, guardians, and educator. (50:47)




You talked about the relationship of an employer to employee. Do you think that the techniques that you described here can be applied to probation clients? (38:57)

Absolutely because they're looking for someone to lead them and guide them. Encourage them to do whatever positive they do – no matter how small it is.


How many times a week or month can you praise your staff without becoming annoying? (40:42)

Make it personal, specific and genuine. Don't just praise people blindly. Take the individual and the things you want to see in them, or you do see and want them to continue doing and believe about themselves.


How do you communicate with a supervisor that's not very helpful? (42:39)

This happens a lot and when someone is your superior, it seems like you can't do anything about it. But you can make SFP work to reinforce the little things they do that are helpful.


How do you help teenagers and tweeners who inflict each other with damage, and even attempt suicide? (44:54)

That age group is highly susceptible to influence – which is why they succumb to peer pressure sometimes. This stage is critical in figuring themselves out. If they get rejected and damaged, they start feeling helpless and worthless. Suicide is caused by feelings of worthlessness.


Tell them that they have value – and the reasons why they're valued. Repeat these messages, make sure they hear it from someone whose opinion they value, from multiple people, and acknowledge them in public.


You could be the only influence that's not giving them a negative message. It may take a while – don't give up.


What do you recommend when a work situation is feeding your own negative talk and messages? How do you turn it into positive for yourself to get out of that vicious cycle? (48:48)

It can be difficult. Train your brain with physical workout – by continuing to think positive things. Read, hear, and think positive messages to train your neurotransmitters to make you more positive.


If you're surrounded by negativity, you'll get negative. It affects your brain chemicals. Feed yourself and the people around you with positive messages. It affects your thinking and behavior.


Would you encourage people to do all the praising face to face or does email, thank you cards and a mixture of them good options as well? (52:16)

If you've heard of the Five Love Language, you could familiarize with it and personalize it depending on the individual's love language so you can do it in a way that means the most to them.


What kind of reframing strength can you think of for someone who micromanages their staff? What positives can you reflect back to that person to try to change their behavior? (55:00)

What you want a micromanager to do is hire good people and let those people do their jobs, and provide them the tools and resources they need to do their jobs. That's the opposite of micromanaging. Use those kinds of phrases, point out instances when they let others use their skills, do what they're good at, and they didn't need to step in and micromanage.

Additional Resources
10 months ago
Leadership Through the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Self-fulfilling prophecy (SFP), when used positively, can assist us in manifesting our intentions […]
1 year ago
Understanding Leadership through Self Fulfilling Prophecy: an Interview with Amy Morgan
We've all heard of, or perhaps been cautioned about, self-fulfilling prophecies. Usually, how […]
Join the Justice Clearinghouse Community of over 41,923 Justice Practitioners!

Join the Justice Clearinghouse Community of over 41,923 Justice Practitioners!

3-5 times per week we will send you updates on free upcoming webinars, custom created infographics and interviews with our presenters

You have Successfully Subscribed!