How a Growth Mindset Helps Set You Apart in the New Normal
Look at what is happening around you and within you and ask yourself – what can I do to take my performance as a leader to the next level? How can I amp up my game for my people during this time of crisis and moving forward into the unknown new world of life and business? Am I doing everything in the best way possible to support my team, my family and myself?
We are all struggling to figure out what life will be like when the economy is reignited, stores start opening, restaurants allow patrons to dine in vs. only serving take out, and businesses start to allow employees to trickle back into the traditional bricks and mortar office environment. We have a sense of what that might look like, and I wholeheartedly agree that as leaders in business, we must plan for the next phase of our new normal.
Part of the preparation should include examining your own mindset. Your mindset is made up of your attitude, perspective, beliefs, and values that all define how you think and behave as a human being and as a leader.
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 or challenges as a result. With the wrong mindset, you are more prone to stumble at communication and potentially alienate your people. Or you may become comfortable with the status quo, which will only leave you and your entire organization spinning your wheels.
On the other hand, if you work to develop a growth mindset, your entire approach to leadership and life in general will become smoother and much more effective. You will lead more dynamically, and your enthusiasm will become infectious. You will begin to see the business landscape in terms of what’s possible vs. what’s not impossible and you will find it easier to move your people and your organization closer to achieving your goals and objectives no matter what the circumstances are.
Some leaders are averse to the idea of developing a growth mindset. They believe talent and ability are set in stone and that it’s not really possible for people to change. They don’t see potential in themselves or others, nor do they buy in to the notion that talent and ability can be developed. Leaders with fixed mindsets may 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 facts and insights to help you get moving in the right direction:
#1 — Tapping into Your Purpose as a Leader
A Harvard Business Review article explored how common growth-mindset myths contained a definition I think is important and quite profound. It stated that a growth mindset is the belief that one’s skills and abilities can be improved. But it’s also the belief that developing skills and abilities is a person’s professional purpose and responsibility.
You may be thinking that your purpose as a leader is to inspire people and drive your organization forward successfully. That is absolutely true. Remember, you set the tone with your behavior and thinking. Your people will feed off your energy, messages and 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 via the 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 that when you develop a growth mindset, it isn’t all about you — it’s also about the overall culture of your organization, and it’s up to you to first develop and nurture your own thinking and mindset. This is your true purpose as a leader.
#2 — Enhances Our Risk-Taking Ability
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 at the top, giving people room to take risks and room to fail without experiencing harsh consequences.
You are more than capable of taking on challenges and facing risk head on and 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 growth mindset will look for lessons learned when things don’t go as planned. 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 Highly Addictive
When you develop and maintain a growth mindset, you may notice that you are much more aware of the outcomes you generate with your actions and decisions. You are in control after all and have choice in identifying your thinking patterns and behaviors — no one is controlling you but you. 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 to focus 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 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 Critical for Today’s Leaders
The world is constantly changing, shifting, and morphing into something new and different. Who would have ever predicted they would be living through a pandemic? 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 have been acceptable in the past, but in today’s new normal, it calls for a new style of leadership, and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The LeadersEdge Grounded Leader webinar series continues this month through to September of this year where we will visit a different Grounded Leader pillar every month. On May 26th we will focus on how to create a culture of Total Accountability. If you are eager to learn more, then you don’t want to miss this webinar session.
If you are interested in learning more, visit this page to find out how you can reserve your spot.
I am also offering complimentary coaching sessions to help leaders through this challenging time. Please book your session here.
Stay safe, well, and maintain a growth mindset!