Focus On What is Within Your Control – You.

Last week, we explored the concept of establishing boundaries as a leader by learning how to say no in a way that leaves you and those you serve feeling good about your decisions and actions.     

Performing at your best as a leader involves establishing clear boundaries for yourself and focusing on what you can control. Really think about it. What is 100% within your control? How people react to you and perform is not within your direct control. You can influence them, but you cannot control their perceptions of you as a leader or the ways in which they work. 

Part of what is within your control is you – your thinking, behavior, attitude, and the energy you bring to every interaction. It’s all about mindset. Your mindset is made up of your attitude, perspective, beliefs, and values which define how you think and behave as a human being and as a leader. 

I am sensitive to mental health and recognize that mental health issues impact 1 out of every 5 people. My intention in writing about mindset this week is not to minimize that reality. I happen to be one of those people, and thankfully I have found ways to manage challenges, and for that, I am forever grateful. 

Respectfully, every action you take and every word you speak is generated in your mind, so if your mindset is fixed, rigid, or negative, you might experience leadership roadblocks or challenges as a result. Or perhaps you are more comfortable with the status quo, which may limit creativity and growth, leaving you and your team feeling somewhat disengaged and average at best.

On the other hand, if you work to develop a growth mindset, your approach to leadership and life in general may feel more empowering, inspiring, and effective. You will lead more dynamically, and your enthusiasm might become infectious. You will begin to see the business landscape in terms of what’s possible vs. what’s impossible and you will find it easier to move your people and your organization closer to achieving your goals and objectives no matter the circumstances.

Some leaders are averse to the idea of developing a growth mindset and feel it’s wishy washy, and way too rose-colored glasses for them – life and work cannot be that easy, right? They might believe talent and ability are set in stone and that it’s not possible for people to change. They don’t see potential in themselves or others, nor do they buy into the notion that talent and ability can be developed. Leaders with fixed mindsets might be successful, but it’s despite their unwillingness to grow, not because of it.

I believe that everyone has tremendous potential for growth and success, regardless of where they may find themselves in their career or at the present moment. People can change, grow and improve from what I have seen, and the most effective leaders are those who see growth as an ongoing, continuous process. This is the essence of the growth mindset.

Are you interested in honing your ability to develop a growth mindset and foster it within your own life, team, and organization? 

Here are some compelling insights to help you get moving in the right direction:

#1 — Dial into Your Purpose as a Leader

You may be thinking that your purpose is to inspire your people and drive your organization forward successfully. That is absolutely true, and remember you set the tone with your behavior and thinking. Your people will feed off your energy, and how you communicate, as well as the behaviors you exhibit.  

If your role is to develop others, then logically it must start with your own ongoing growth and development. By developing yourself and your people with a growth mindset, you will inevitably become more inspirational and effective in your role. When you commit to continuous learning, growth and improvement, everything else around you will follow suit, which includes your people and your business. 

It’s important to remember when you develop a growth mindset, it isn’t all about you — it’s also about the overall culture of your organization. It’s up to you to first develop and nurture your own thinking and mindset. This is your true purpose as a leader.

#2 — Be Open to Taking Risks

Leaders with a fixed or limited mindset may dislike or be uncomfortable with taking risks and are terrified by the possibility of failing. We all know that real progress comes when people have the courage to put themselves out there and take risks.

A growth mindset allows leaders to recognize that risk is necessary; it’s not something to be afraid of. In fact, risk is essential for success in life and in business. Creativity and innovation thrive when people are presented with risks. Leaders set the example by giving people room to take risks, learn, and have the opportunity to fail without experiencing harsh consequences.

You are more than capable of taking on challenges and facing risks. When you do, your people will give you their best, most courageous efforts when they see that you are comfortable with risk.

Ultimately, growth cannot happen unless risk is involved. Sometimes risk will lead to failure, but you have to be comfortable with that fact. A leader with a growth mindset will look for the lessons learned when things don’t go their way, or through the mistakes they have made. It is all about opportunity and learning valuable lessons from our perceived failures.

#3 — A Growth Mindset Fosters Innovation & New Possibilities

When you lead with a fixed or closed mindset, you may run into dead ends. But if you lead with a growth mindset, you will see the new possibilities and opportunities that lie beneath the perceived failure or dead end. Instead of looking backward, you look forward and develop the vision to see through errors, problems and failures by looking for new ideas and what is possible. You don’t panic or give up; you believe in yourself and your ability to find the way forward. This is incredibly inspirational to you, your team and everyone around you.

#4 — Growth and Improvement Are Addictive

When you develop and maintain a growth mindset, you may notice you are much more aware of the outcomes you generate with your actions and decisions. You have a choice in identifying your thinking patterns and behaviors – no one is controlling you but yourself. When we see changes happening and allow ourselves to experience the positive effects of learning new skills and ideas, it becomes addictive and we want to experience more. The more you continue focusing on developing your growth mindset, the more you may feel compelled to stay on the path.

A growth mindset brings tremendous rewards, and the human brain can be rewired to focus on the positive, which leads to rewarding actions and inspiring thought patterns. This creates a positive addiction, of sorts, that allows you to continue growing and continue to build your overall leadership ability.

A Growth Mindset is a Must-Have for Today’s Leaders

The world is constantly changing, shifting, and morphing into something new and different. This change process is happening at a much faster pace today than ever before, and leaders need to either adapt or get out of the way. A fixed mindset may only get you so far, and today’s world calls for a new style of leadership. We must be focused on growth and change in a manner that’s consistent with the way the modern world works.

The most effective leaders I know are always growing, learning and seeking new possibilities. They see leadership as an ever-evolving set of principles and practices, and they know that there is always something new and valuable to learn. Most importantly, they understand that their people are at their best when they can take risks, learn new concepts and step out of their comfort zone to allow growth and expansion to occur.

A growth mindset allows leaders to stay at the top of their game day after day and year after year. It gives leaders and their people confidence, and a competitive edge which is one of the most crucial factors that separates average leaders from the truly great ones.

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of developing a growth mindset? Let’s talk!

Please contact me at 1.855.871.3374, or email me at

Ready to partner with LeadersEdge to drive organizational performance?

connect with us