Ask any successful entrepreneur what their most important asset is, and the answer is likely their mindset. In fact, any person that has ever tried something new has likely failed at some capacity. But these failures are a rite of passage for achieving more than just success; you need them to develop a growth mindset. Are you in a leadership position or looking to aspire to be in one? Keep reading to learn how you can start developing a growth mindset for leadership roles.
What is a growth mindset?
Great leaders will tell you that the best indicator of success for a business is revealed in their ability to overcome challenges. These leaders favor a growth mindset over a fixed mindset and often encourage their employees to make mistakes. But what exactly is a growth mindset? Simply put, it is an approach to life that welcomes mistakes while learning new skills. What makes this different from resilience is that the ultimate goal in a growth mindset is to reach your full potential. Think about a time you may have failed in a relationship. You’d never just give up dating forever after a first break up. You learn from your mistakes and hope to use those lessons as steppingstones to reaching a life you desire.
On the opposite end, a fixed mindset is the belief that people are born with a set of qualities and traits that cannot be changed. People with fixed mindsets avoid challenging themselves and take failures as hard hits to their esteem. They have a hard time believing that people can change. A fixed mindset is obsessed with results and do not accept anything less than achieving the desired outcomes.
Why is a growth mindset important
The ability to keep going even through adversity is what top achievers do. No great story ends with the protagonist giving up and realizing that all his efforts were time wasted. Great leaders prioritize developing a growth mindset because it is the secret ingredient to unshakable success. A growth mindset is more than just being resilient. It is the first step to reaching your full potential and crucial to begin attaining the life you want.
People who have a growth mindset learn faster due to their desire to be challenged. They know that they will make mistakes, so by accepting it, they can freely explore all possible solutions. When applied to leadership, great leaders will not only allow mistakes to happen, but may also encourage their team to make them.
Leaders who see mistakes as a healthy process for learning will also in turn create positive working environments. They have a positive outlook on business challenges and see them as opportunities to accelerate growth. Leaders with growth mindsets create teams of fearless solution-seekers because the way they see it, a growing team creates a growing company.
How can you adopt a growth mindset
1. Embrace Change
Many people often struggle adopting this fundamental, yet simple belief. Change can feel uncomfortable. We have little to no control over what will happen to us, but we can control how we react to change. Transformational leadership could never exist without first accepting change. The basic principles of growth application easily come from one’s ability to stay adaptable. All businesses must deal with unique challenges, often sourcing from external forces like market volatility, economic or political factors, etc. The faster you can embrace change, the more quickly you can begin developing a growth mindset.
2. Study yourself
The philosopher Socrates once famously said, “Know thyself”. A short, albeit confusing phrase without context, but powerfully points out our lack of effort to simply study who we are. Take a second to remove your own labels. Who are you if not a father or mother, son or daughter, employee or boss? By removing labels such as these can bring you closer to finding your authentic self.
Some of the best leaders today have total clarity about who they are. It’s this quality that makes them so attractive. Do you ever find yourself intensely interested in the person who is the most confident and never shies away from who they are? Finding out who you are is the foundation to a happier life. Great leaders don’t expect others to follow someone who is not confident. You will gain tremendous benefits if you dedicate yourself to self-awareness. Try meditating for 10 minutes a day or go out for daily walks.
3. Have perseverance
Do you really believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to? Without perseverance, you will likely never see the life you want. Also known as grit, the ability to push through challenges is an incredible indicator of future success.
At some point, we’ve all started a workout or diet program that ended in little to no results. Instead of focusing on the results you want, you’ll achieve greater success when you focus on consistency. In your role as a leader, perseverance is about showing up for your team even through the hard times. Perseverance also requires a lot of patience. You might not see instant results, but people with growth mindsets know that their efforts will one day bear fruit. You can start practicing perseverance by being consistent. Half of the work is done by simply showing up. Whether it is at the gym, or just sitting down to meditate. Try showing up more fully in the areas where you want to improve.
4. Take responsibility
When you truly take responsibility over everything under your control, you gain a sense of freedom. It places the power back in your hands because the realization is that so much of your unhappiness can be changed by simply owning up to it. Great leaders always take responsibility for the failures of the company. Leaders understand that mistakes and failures are a part of the process to achieving goals, so instead of shifting the blame on others, they assume responsibility and move forward.
Great leaders develop growth mindsets
Setbacks and challenges are inevitable. A great leader knows that achieving peace is worth going through the struggle for. They take responsibility for their actions and words, even if it means losing a few followers. A growth mindset understands that practicing persistence is key to unlocking full potential.
By choosing to develop a growth mindset, you can become a better leader for yourself, resulting in a better life and overall happiness. Start implementing these techniques today – the life you dream of achieving is in your hands.