Growth Mindset in Leadership: Why Is It Important and How to Nurture It
Leadership is a topic many people find quite intriguing and important – after all, it has the potential to shape one’s entire career and truly add up to one’s success in professional development. Among the multitude of tactics and leadership strategies, one keeps on shining bright and receiving more and more attention – today we’re focusing on the growth mindset!
Oftentimes we’re discussing the importance of hard and soft skills, communication, active listening, great problem-solving skills and many more absolutely essential aspects of successful leadership. Yes, they are indeed fundamental when it comes to further shaping a dazzling professional path but adding a growth mindset into the picture takes everything up a notch.
A growth mindset is mainly deeply rooted in our never-ending desire toward personal development – if we nurture this principle in our day-to-day, there’s a high chance we are going to successfully implement it in our careers as well. Once we achieve this, we can bet that sooner rather than later we’re about to experience a multitude of benefits. That’s why it’s a topic worth exploring – and this is precisely what we’re going to do today.
What Exactly Is Growth Mindset and Why Do We Need It?
Before we step right into the world of leadership, perhaps first it’s important to direct our attention to what exactly a growth mindset is – this way we can then further realize how it benefits us and why it’s so important to nurture it.
A person who has a growth mindset is someone who is drawn to challenges since they believe it’s the fundamental way toward development. Those people don’t fear change and occasional difficulties along the way – quite on the contrary, they oftentimes are eager to experience life in all its colors and believe it’s the challenges that help us grow and establish resilience.
A person who nurtures a growth mindset in their day-to-day life often becomes quite flexible and finds it relatively easy to deal with a plethora of turbulent situations and instances in their life. Of course, this way of thinking and embracing change and difficulties ultimately shapes how we deal with work-related scenarios as well – so it’s a topic worth exploring further.
Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset
Many people out there strive to nurture a growth mindset – after all, they all acknowledge and realize its plethora of benefits. However, as always, it’s easier said than done, especially if the person has spent the great majority of their life stuck in what is called a fixed mindset.
As their name suggests, there are definitive differences between both states of mind.
In a fixed mindset, the person fears failure and often interprets it as the end of their efforts. They view failure as hard proof of their incompetence and mistakes and, as a result, their motivation quickly drops, leaving them disappointed and willing to give up. Black-and-white thinking is very common when we refer to a fixed mindset: Individuals tend to view a situation as either good or bad without giving it any deeper meaning. As a result, they often find it hard to uncover any possible lessons or opportunities that difficulties bring to the table – so development and growth usually come to them slowly and require quite some time and repeating the same mistakes and behaviors over and over again.
As opposed to this, having a growth mindset is characterized by searching deliberately for all nuances and colors in life’s situations, obstacles and happenings. For people with a growth mindset, curiosity is a driving force – they are always willing to learn new things and learn from experiences. Essentially, failure for them is not a negative resolution to a conflict – instead, it’s an opportunity to explore new realms and learn new things. In a growth mindset, everything is about enriching one’s life and mind – so people naturally seek more and more ways to grow and continuously evolve throughout their lives.
Growth Mindset in Leadership: A Recipe for Success
Developing a growth mindset as a leader is essential for personal and professional development. Once you nurture it in your personal life and escape the claws of the fixed mindset, you then have all it takes to transfer it into your career and quickly witness all the benefits that will come with it.
The growth mindset involves recognizing that abilities and talent can be developed through hard work and dedication. This way you’ll always thrive on experiencing new things and learn from them – you won’t fear change and you’ll see it as an opportunity to evolve and explore new territories.
Leaders with a growth mindset are more open to feedback, willing to take risks and embrace challenges as opportunities for learning and development. Being able to communicate freely and hear what other people have to say is a powerful tool and soft skill that will push you forward and strengthen the bond with fellow employees or colleagues. When you stumble upon negative feedback, you won’t be quick to get disappointed and unmotivated – instead, you’ll be willing to learn and get some new perspectives on important topics and situations.
- A key point here is that having a growth mindset will tremendously help leaders nurture that same thought pattern in their employees as well – leading by example and constantly inspiring everyone around you to aim higher will certainly benefit the team and the business in general.
How Can You Achieve This?
Once we’ve established how important having a growth mindset is, it’s time to find practical and useful ways to achieve it.
My advice is to first come to terms with the fact that there’s nothing wrong with being afraid – acknowledging it is the first step toward getting rid of fear altogether. Then you can proceed by taking small steps – start with doing something you’ve been postponing for a while and that will certainly benefit you. Witness the results and praise yourself for achieving them. Create a list of short-term goals and try sticking to them until you accomplish it all. Be aware of your surroundings – try meeting like-minded individuals who also strive for success and are ready to face failure with strength and dignity.
It takes practice but once you get there, you’ll quickly pick the fruit of the success that awaits you. Even if it may be scary at first, you’ll quickly acknowledge a growth mindset as a key component for both your professional and personal development.