Growth Mindset: What It Is and Why It Makes Better Leaders

Growth Mindset: What It Is and Why It Makes Better Leaders

April 23, 2019

You've probably heard about how outcomes — or at least attitudes — can change based on having a positive mindset versus a negative one. But what about adopting a growth mindset? Doing so means believing that you can develop strengths. In contrast, adhering to a fixed mindset means thinking talents are inborn gifts.

Let's take a look at why a growth mindset is such an advantageous trait for business leaders. Along the way, we'll go over actionable tips to use while developing yours.

A Growth Mindset Helps Us Learn From Setbacks

There are many misconceptions about what it means to have a growth mindset. For example, some people misunderstand and think it's all about constantly rewarding and praising effort. However, effort alone is not always a great thing, especially if it's unproductive. People who embrace the growth mindset know learning and progress are both just as important as effort.

That's why employees in leadership roles often exhibit this state of mind. Rather than getting bogged down by shortcomings, these individuals identify what they can learn from their experiences. They apply that collective knowledge and use it to avoid making the same mistakes later.


However, it's important to remember that the feelings of insecurity that often flare up when you're up against challenges could easily cause you to lapse back into a fixed mindset. Instead of listening to internal doubts, learn to tune into that inner dialogue and counteract it with statements that help you stay on track with stabilizing your growth mindset.

It Makes It Easier to Avoid Distractions

People who characteristically stay in growth mindsets also know they can make substantial gains through hard work and dedication. In contrast, an individual prone to the fixed mindset might lean too heavily on talent and believe it's possible to get by without commitment.

It's not hard to become distracted at work, but leaders who know that productive effort translates to success usually find it easier to avoid workplace drama or other situations that could compromise output. Even allowing a colleague to vent to you about something happening at work signifies that you're willing to engage with workplace drama.

As a leader, it's significantly more helpful to notice the internal unrest, come up with a plan for tackling it and stick to your chosen methods. A conflict-heavy workplace could increase employee turnover rates and hurt your bottom line. By nipping it in the bud, you're making the environment more beneficial for everyone, all while ensuring it's easiest to keep your head down and keep your focus on your goals.

Having a Growth Mindset Makes You Look for New Opportunities

Skilled business leaders are impressively flexible. They know how opportunities can become apparent after one productive chat at a networking event or a lecture at a three-day business conference. Being aware of what the growth mindset is and trying to develop it within yourself will cause you to seize opportune moments more than ever before, especially when doing so could take your business to a new level.

Fully realizing the benefits of a growth mindset also means looking for chances to improve yourself, often through continual education. Thanks to the internet, webinars and online courses abound, so you can build your knowledge even if in-person classes aren’t feasible. You may be a recognized expert in a certain subject, but it's always possible to learn new things, especially if you study previously learned information in a fresh way.

You’ll Be More Inspired By Others While in a Growth Mindset

Another hallmark characteristic of the growth mindset involves looking to others to better understand how to fuel your own initiatives. Far too often, people who maintain fixed mindsets get trapped by thinking they have to compete with others instead of applauding them.

At the other end of the spectrum, people who consciously do their best to stay in a growth mindset value the efforts and ideas of others while continuing work on their personal goals. An appreciation of collaboration helps you recognize that everyone in your organization is valuable and each one has notable things to offer.

Now that you know what a growth mindset is and how it could enhance your leadership skills, you're probably eager to start embodying it every day. Remember, changing your mindset in long-lasting ways takes work but can also be extremely rewarding.

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