If an organisation is going to adopt a growth mindset, its leaders need to also cultivate this same growth mindset and believe that strengths can be developed. I recently wrote an article for the Australian Business Executive on Developing A Growth Mindset In Your Organisation. However no organisation can adopt this mindset if those at the top are not leading the way.
Research shows that managers see far more leadership potential in their employees when their companies adopt a growth mindset — the belief that talent should be developed in everyone, not viewed as a fixed, innate gift that some have and others don’t.
Developing a growth mindset from both a leadership and organisational perspective takes hard work and dedication. Some perceive that developing a growth mindset is all about constantly rewarding and praising effort. However effort alone is not always desirable if the outcome is unproductive.
So what does a growth mindset leader look like?
They see setbacks as a learning opportunity
Leaders who embrace a growth mindset know that both learning and progress are just as important as effort. So leaders with a growth mindset don’t get bogged down by their shortcomings or those of their staff, instead they encourage themselves and others to learn from their experiences. They have the opportunity to apply their collective knowledge and use it to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. It’s often easy to experience insecurity when a challenge seems daunting. However an individual with a growth mindset has an opportunity to acknowledge these internal self-doubts and then reframe and counteract with self-statements to allow them to get back on track.
They look for new opportunities
Leaders who embrace a growth mindset demonstrate flexibility. When you take time to develop your growth mindset, you start to see opportunities around you and as a result you can start to seize these opportunities. When you see a staff member demonstrate a strength in the workplace, you can immediately recognise this potential and work to adopt a strategy to maximise their potential. When you attend a conference and gain new insights, you are motivated to maximise your learning and implement the new strategies back into your workplace. Your goal is also not only to maximise the strengths of your staff and your organisation, but also to maximise your own potential. You have the opportunity to develop the character strength of love of learning, and soak up opportunities that reading, internet search and webinars provide.
They minimise procrastination and avoid distractions
Leaders who adopt a growth mindset recognise the substantial gains they can make through hard work and dedication. They are committed to goal setting and they typically have stickability to those goals. As a leader it is often easy to become distracted. Putting out fires is often a full-time occupation and a leader can feel that they are bogged down by urgent, but not important tasks. But leaders with a growth mindset recognise their specific purpose and dedicate themselves to productive effort to ensure both they and their team work towards the collective vision.
If a team is experiencing disruption and perhaps is weighed down by conflict or gossip then a leader with a growth mindset will develop a plan for tackling the issue and stick to these chosen methods to allow an outcome to occur. Their goal will be to nip issues in the bud and keep their staff “above the line” allowing all to focus on goals and output and avoid the drama drama drama.
They celebrate success
Individuals with a fixed mindset are often threatened by other people’s success. However a leader with a growth mindset is eager to celebrate the successes of his/her staff and recognises that cutting down tall poppies is completely unproductive. They wish to encourage, support and celebrate the productive effort that has resulted in a successful outcome and to build confidence that hard work and dedication can produce such outcomes. A growth mindset leader does not feel threatened by successful staff members and can reflect on the fact that a staff member’s success is also their success and the organisation’s success.
They gain inspiration and are inspirational
A growth mindset leader, can look at the success of others and gain inspiration to better understand how to fire up their own personal motivation and initiatives. They value the efforts and ideas of others and can incorporate these into their own personal goals and organisational goals. This brings with it an appreciation for collaboration which in turn inspires others. Staff can also recognise that their leader is dedicated to their individual needs, recognises their value and genuinely wants to assist them to succeed. As a result they also inspire others to do the same.
They build stronger relationships
A growth mindset leader recognises that failure is not a reason to punish a staff member. FAIL – merely stands for -First Attempt In Learning. When a leader has the opportunity to refrain struggles as learning experiences, they become more patient and understanding and as a result tighter bonds tend to be formed with staff and a greater level of trust and respect is formed.
They value progress over perfection
Leaders often stress, attempting to ensure that everything is perfect. As a result they often waste a lot of time and effort perfecting things that don’t need to be perfected. However leaders with a growth mindset recognise that it is better for both them and their staff to achieve progress towards their shared goals rather than stopping every five seconds to ensure that every step of the way is perfect in its outcome. They recognise that progress is better to celebrate than perfection.
If you are interested in developing your growth mindset as a leader, Bakjac Consulting is running a five week online webinar series to develop a growth mindset and mental toughness.
This 5 week online Webinar Series will commence in late January 2018 and will begin with you completing the MTQ48 to gain an understanding of your current Mental Toughness. Then you will participate in a 5 week mental toughness development programme to develop your growth mindset and flex your mental toughness muscles. Want to know more? Contact Michelle on 0412047590 or via email, michelle@bakjacconsulting, or check out here on Bakjac Consulting’s website for more information.
Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing.
For more on developing as a growth mindset leader contact Mental Toughness Partners.