LeadersEdge blog
Insights for Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders
Growth Mindset, Resilience, and Leading with Agility
November 14, 2023

As we wrote about in last week’s blog post, the ability to lead change is a fundamental must-have skill that works in parallel with our ability to lead ourselves and lead and influence others.

Leaders need to be adaptable, forward-thinking, and able to address a wide range of complex issues in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world. Successful leaders must continually learn, grow, and lead by example to guide their organizations to long-term success.

The ability to adapt, pivot and change requires more than a well thought out plan, as sometimes we are not provided with the luxury of time to be strategic and thoughtful, we are required to react in the moment which doesn’t come easy for some leaders. 

To be an impactful leader and successful leader, it starts with you - your own mindset and openness to change as a leader.  We have written about this in past articles, where we emphasized the importance of having a growth mindset and not being stuck in the way things were done in the past.  Plus, it requires a variety of other soft and hard skills that work in partnership to guide us and our organizations forward.

This week, we are going to focus on what it means to have a growth mindset and highlight the importance of being resilient and agile. The three combined are foundational to being a change champion for our people and organization.

What is a Growth Mindset?

Effective leadership begins with your thinking and mindset. Every action you take and every word you speak is generated in your mind, so if your mindset is fixed, rigid, or negative, you may experience leadership roadblocks as a result. 

A growth mindset is all about the attitude with which a person faces challenges, how they process failures, and how they adapt and evolve as a result. In business, honing the ability to learn and grow after a setback, or when challenges occur, is key to establishing a culture built on continuous learning and growth. It is also about believing that one’s skills and abilities can be improved and as a leader, helping the people around you to develop these skills is also critically important.

You may be thinking that your purpose as a leader is to inspire people and drive your organization forward successfully. That is true, and remember you set the tone with your behavior and thinking. Your people will feed off your energy; what you say, how you say it and the behaviors you exhibit. If your role is to develop others, then logically it must start with your own ongoing growth and development.  

When you commit to continuous learning, growth and improvement, everything else around you will follow suit, which includes your people and your business. 

The Importance of Resiliency 

Resilience is a concept that is starting to take on a life of its own, almost a buzzword like self-awareness and emotional intelligence, which are staples and must-haves in a leader’s toolkit to be effective now and in the future.

First, let us start off by defining what resilience means. According to Psychology Today, it is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals.

Research shows that there are certain factors that allow a person to be more resilient such as a positive attitude, optimism, being self-aware to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.

Optimism, for example, has been shown to reduce the impact of stress on the mind and body in the event of unsettling experiences. It provides people with access to their own inner strength, enabling cool-headed decision making and taking action towards more productive outcomes.

How resilient are you? What is your first reaction when adversity or challenges arise? You can strengthen your resilience muscles as we have written about in the past, so check out this blog post if you are looking for some additional tips.

Leading with Agility

What does it mean to lead with agility or to be an agile leader? From an organizational lens, agility describes the ability to respond quickly and nimbly by adapting to changes in the market and/or the environment in a manner that retains and enhances productivity and overall effectiveness.

For leaders, agility means being able to guide their organizations through ever-accelerating changes and increases in uncertainty, volatility, and complexity. They must embody and personify the values that they want their teams and organizations to exemplify through normal and turbulent times. And they must develop a “sixth sense” that allows them to anticipate changes quickly with an ability to respond with focus, flexibility, and speed.

Agile leaders are not afraid to tap into their creativity, and they know how to think outside the box when innovative solutions are required. They don’t waste time mulling over decisions or making difficult choices. They understand that the ability to take quick, decisive action is an extremely valuable commodity now and in the future.

Agile leaders also know how to communicate masterfully. They understand how to engage employees and other stakeholders. They actively listen, and they ask great questions that stimulate creative thinking and confidence in others. Agile leaders are never satisfied with the status quo. They thrive on being challenged, and they understand that the most difficult problems are those that promise the most meaningful rewards, once solved.

Do you have a growth mindset, resiliency, and agility in your DNA? Do you view these increasingly complex and uncertain times as an opportunity? We believe you do, and we are here to help. What are your thoughts on this topic? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to email me at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca or call me at 416-560-1806.

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