Leadership Is About Having A Growth Mindset
Yet. A three-letter word that can give you a totally different perspective of your world.
Yet/adverb: Up until the present or a specified or implied time; by now or then.
The world yet is what separates world-class leaders from the rest. It’s a growth mindset that believes it can improve skills with effort and that your current status quo is tomorrow’s steppingstone to grow further from. It’s a mindset that tells you that your current capabilities are a pure measurement of today, but that the future holds more and you can improve and get better.
Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
Stanford Professor of Psychology Carol Dweck is known for her work on the mindset of psychological traits. She studied the topic of growth mindset amongst today’s leaders and concluded that people that believe they can improve their abilities and skills tend to demonstrate significant improvements in leadership. Like most things in life, an ability is like a muscle that can be trained and strengthened. Even though you may not be as skilled as others in certain areas, with a growth mindset you can reach iconic skill levels.
The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset assumes that your capabilities are a given fact and there is little room for improvements. “It’s just the way I’m built”. A fixed mindset keeps you safe and sound inside your comfort zone. People with a fixed mindset don’t dare to try new things and venture outside of their comfort zones.
For the book, I’m writing I’m currently interviewing top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, musicians, social influencers, and business leaders. Interesting enough is that even though they come from different backgrounds, one of the things they share is they all went through setbacks and failures. A key benefit of a growth mindset is how you deal with setbacks. Everyone goes through downtimes in his or her life, but what separates the iconic performers from the rest is that he or she see failures through a learning lens. One entrepreneur, who built an app that was downloaded 30MM times without spending any marketing dollar, said that any entrepreneur should “embrace failures because it’s your friend”. People with a fixed mindset tend to look at failures through a failing lens which tears down on their confidence level and their overall performance. Growth mindset performers see failures as part of the process of improvement.
Growth Mindset Characteristics
So do you have a growth mindset? Here are 7 characteristics of growth mindset leaders:
- You embrace discomfort and are willing to go further than your comfort zone because you know growth is there. Entrepreneurs live in a constant state of discomfort.
- You’re not too proud to accept feedback from anyone. Feedback is a tool for improvement. Once you embrace the idea that learning from others and seeking help is a sign of strength, your potential for growth is unlimited.
- When you fall, you get back up easily. Mistakes are a steppingstone to perform better in the future.
- Setbacks are seen through a learning lens instead of a failure lens.
- You choose the long term over the short term. Sustainable growth is a long-term game. Leaders with a growth mindset understand the difference and know how to balance long-term solutions and short-term fixes.
- You always want to challenge the status quo and are open to exploring different perspectives and experiment with multiple alternatives.
- You’re a good listener. You’re open to hearing other viewpoints and want to celebrate others for success. You lift others up and encourage them to learn new skills and take on bigger assignments to grow.
Iconic performers tend to show a growth mindset and it’s in reach for everybody. A growth mindset is looking at your business, personal life, or passions through learning glasses.
Are you highly capable of changing and growing? How can your organization benefit from a growth mindset? What actions are you taking to spread a growth mindset in your company?
Please leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you.