Leaders today need to have a growth mindset in order to evolve and prosper and be the best versions of themselves and have a company that is the best version of itself.
To better understand what a growth mindset is and what it entails let’s take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum and define what it is to have a ‘fixed mindset’.
Someone with a fixed mindset has a limiting belief that they are born with a fixed level of intelligence and talent, a level that is ‘set’ and won’t change over their lifetime. They have a tendency to believe that they are naturally good at certain things and not others and that through the course of their life, the things that come easily to them require very little effort for success. Furthermore, they see failures as events which calls into question their intelligence and talents, making it difficult for them to handle setbacks and mistakes as they see them as a result of their own set shortcomings.
People with a growth mindset on the other hand, tend to believe that their intelligence and skills can be developed over time and they don’t see quite so many limitations. People with growth mindsets actively look for opportunities to evolve their talents and abilities and grow from learnings. They take more risks because they are not so averse to failures, in fact they see failures as opportunities to gain valuable insights to learn and develop and do better in the future, rather than an indication of their own shortcomings.
From a leadership perspective, the advantages of adopting and encouraging company-wide growth mindsets are compelling and numerous.
Leaders who have growth mindsets are more open to constructive feedback. They tend to be more innovative, collaborative, and committed to learning and growing, not just for their own development, but for those they are leading. They are more likely to identify and believe in their staff’s individual growth and potential than leaders with fixed mindsets.
When leaders embrace growth mindsets, the positive effects trickle down to employees, who are much more likely to also embrace this mindset. They are more flexible are less resistant to setbacks in their approach to work. Their work relationships are more collaborative and they are more accountable and less afraid of making and owning up to mistakes and mishaps along the way.
Fostering a growth mindset culture is a great way for leaders to fast track growth and innovation. Here are three great ways to develop your company’s growth mindset culture;
1. Invite construct feedback on your own leadership.
Leaders with a growth mindset need to openly invite feedback from others so they can learn and develop their leadership skills. Of course, even leaders are human and will make just as many mistakes in their lifetime as ‘non leaders’. Those who are more of an open book to their staff, who are more vulnerable, are more likely to expose their shortcomings and mistakes to the people they lead. This should have a positive effect on others in the organisation as their leaders become more relatable, approachable and trustworthy.
2. Take a more constructive approach to mistakes
Don’t be afraid to shine a torch on mistakes and challenges and highlight the learnings to your team in a supportive way. Don’t let mistakes be viewed as a negative but instead as an opportunity to learn and grow and do things differently. Spend time with your employees debriefing what’s working and what isn’t working, during the course of a project, as well as when it’s finished. By truly fostering a culture where mistakes are ‘ok’ with a flexible approach to work that allows your team to fine tune strategies as you go, you will encourage staff to admit to mistakes as there are no negative consequences. People need to know that they won’t be having a black mark against their name if they try and fail. If they know their manager has their back and believes in their growth and development, they are more likely to be accountable, be more resilient to setbacks and have the confidence to do better next time. This is key to an authentic growth mindset culture.
3. Focus more on growth and development for individuals in your team
Individuals in fixed mindset cultures often describe the opportunities for success and recognition as being limited to a few rising stars. In companies with growth mindset cultures, the opposite is true. Leaders see the value in everyone and work to develop their whole team, to grow the skills and talent of everyone, not just a select few.
Leaders who want to have companies where ideas and innovation happen at all levels of the organisation need to foster an authentic growth mindset culture, starting with the leaders.
Could your leadership team benefit from one of my tailored workshops? Please get in touch today. I’d love to help!