Leadership and Mindset
Leaders in our current environment will continue to face unprecedented challenges. Whether it is an increasingly connected global economy or technological advances, organizations must adapt to such changes, and this places high demands on leaders.
Leaders must now reinvent themselves and their organizations all at the same time. This can be difficult with the legacy or traditional leadership alone, but a new leadership mindset that allows leaders to keep up with the fast-paced changes around them. Mindset of leaders is significant during these challenging times, for the road ahead.
What is mindset? Mindset is the power of believing you can improve, how you make sense of the world and yourself. It influences how you think, feel, and behave in situations. It seems simple, but mindset is especially important because it has a powerful impact on an individual and their organization.
When we examine mindset in depth, there are distinct types. I would like to focus on two types: Fixed and Growth Mindset.
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. describes the distinction between these two common approaches:
“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success-without effort. They are wrong.”
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work-brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have these qualities.”
This brings me to another question: What is a leadership mindset? Psychology Today describes mindset as “the attitudes, beliefs, and expectations you hold that act as the foundation of who you are, how you lead, and the ways in which you interact with your team.”
There are leaders of yesterday who struggle in this shift to the new business world due to their fixed mindset around operational efficiency. Leaders of a fixed mindset are results-oriented to the extreme and tend to interpret challenges as failures, believing that all effort has been wasted instead of recognizing the opportunity to gain experience and grow. Whilst in the past that environment may have shaped experiences and drove decisions and behaviors, leaders of today must abandon outdated assumptions, embrace growth experiences, and form new business relationships.
Leaders with a growth mindset need to keep up with the demands of a rapidly changing digital world. A leader with a growth mindset sees opportunities for their team, even in tough times, looks for ways to help their team grow, break down silos and create opportunities for collaboration so that they overcome challenges together. They never place blame, foster personal accountability, and work to improve themselves. A growth mindset allows leaders to see the yet-undeveloped personal potential of individuals on their team as a collective whole, also recognizing their own growth potential.
As leaders, we need to foster a deeply rooted personal commitment to continual growth and development, both in ourselves and within each member of our team. We need to encourage lifelong learning and support others. Not only will fostering a growth mindset lead to a greater personal, team and organizational outcomes, it will help everyone achieve their fullest human potential for the road ahead.