Good leadership is the backbone of any successful business. After all, leaders are the driving force behind daily operations and activities. They have the power to motivate and empower their workforce. Despite this, a recent study found that only 10% of people are 'natural' leaders . The rest have to work on developing the skills required to lead.
Thankfully, there are many ways in which you can refine your leadership skills. For example, you can look at the work of leaders or managers you admire and attempt to emulate them.
However, one of the most effective tools at your disposal is actually your mind. Or rather, your mindset. To put it simply, your attitude and perspective have a ripple effect on the entire company. Consequently, many entrepreneurs have found it beneficial to lead with a growth mindset.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is the belief that there is always a way to develop skills or learn something new.
It is the opposite of a fixed mindset. This is where you believe your skills and intelligence levels are pre-defined and cannot be altered.
Psychologist Carol Dweck coined the term in her growth mindset book - which has sold thousands of copies worldwide.
Within Mindset, Carol states that a "growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things that you can cultivate through your efforts… This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives." (Source)
Leaders with growth mindsets are effective in more ways than one. They can motivate their workforce by demonstrating their own willingness to learn and grow. They're also less likely to get caught in limiting behaviours, as they are open to new suggestions and development opportunities every step of the way.
Fixed vs Growth mindset. See here from our speaker and Growth Mindset and Innovation Coach Stefan Lindegaard.
Growth mindset examples
There are many ways in which you can demonstrate your growth mindset at work. Here are some great examples of a growth mindset in action:
Asking yourself, "What can I learn from this?" after a mistake, as opposed to letting it impact you negatively.
Being open to new learning opportunities and challenges, even if they require you to step outside of your comfort zone.
Asking for feedback on how you can be a better leader and working to understand your shortcomings or limitations.
How to develop a growth mindset
There are many ways in which, as a leader, you can work to develop a growth mindset - and encourage your employees to do the same. It takes time and effort to step outside of your comfort zone. Stop seeking approval, be self guided. Your initial talents, aptitude and interests don't limit your future potential. Make mistakes.
Be open to learning (and unlearning)
In previous years, leaders were taught to lead from a position of mightiness. That is, the idea that they are the most intelligent person in the room.
After all, you likely decided to open a company as you had years of industry experience and insight under your belt. However, while establishing a sense of seniority is essential, the best leaders are those who are willing to grow and learn alongside their employees.
This gives you the chance to try something new and innovative while also fostering a productive work environment.
There are many ways to seek out new opportunities, from signing up to leadership classes to listening to talks from industry leaders.
Ask for feedback. As an employer, you're likely well aware of the benefits associated with providing your employees with regular feedback. This is because it provides them with a sense of direction while also helping them become better at their job.
However, it's important to note that feedback should work both ways. Asking for feedback from your employees provides you with valuable insight into your own skills and working processes, which means you can identify and eradicate any weaknesses sooner rather than later.
It also shows your employees that you value their thoughts and opinions, which can build a better workplace.
Growth mindset activities
There are many different activities you can introduce to your workplace that will enable you to develop your growth mindset.
Set yourself weekly challenges. Great leaders are not only able to set themselves (and others') goals, but they also understand the importance of sticking to them. However, this does not mean that they are immune to disillusionment or frustration when reaching goals seems impossible.
You can combat this, however, by setting yourself smaller weekly goals. This way, you're celebrating at least four times a month, which can be a great way to improve your attitude.
Recognize those who inspire you. Leaders who operate under a growth mindset take inspiration from others, providing them with new opportunities to develop skills or change their perspective. As a result, writing down a list of people who inspire you, both personally and professionally, can be an excellent exercise for tapping into a growth mindset.
Cultivate a growth mindset in 2023. Embrace challenges and empower your teams to learn new skills, engage in constructive criticism and view failure as learning experiences.
Furthemore, leading with a growth mindset also helps your employees grow too. For example, it will create a supportive working environment and culture that can provide them with the motivation they need to address their own development without feeling as though they are failing or falling short.
You can even share this post with your colleagues and use the clues here as a starting point. Create a revolution.