Do you have a leader’s mindset?

How inspirational leaders approach success and failure.

Great leaders understand that to really excel and inspire effort and achievement in others, the right mindset is essential.

Picture courtesy of Wil Stewart/Unsplash

Are you a leader others choose to follow?

Great leaders inspire others by creating a culture and environment where teams understand that the process of effort and perseverance can develop ability, increase talent and improve performance.

In her international bestseller, ‘Mindset: the psychology of success’ psychologist Carol Dweck, describes the belief that talent and abilities are innate, permanent and resistant to effort, as a ‘fixed mindset’.

Leaders who entrench themselves in this fixed approach demotivate their teams by adopting a blame culture, stifling creativity, breeding mistrust and demotivating those around them. In a fixed mindset culture teams disengage, feel unappreciated and demonstrate less commitment.

Leaders who believe that effort, perseverance and learning from failure can improve performance are adopting what Dweck describes as a ‘growth mindset’ approach. Leaders who want their teams to excel recognise the performance enhancing benefits of a growth mindset approach.

Assessing your leadership mindset

You can assess your leadership mindset by taking the Positive Change Guru Growth Mindset Leadership Test to discover whether you’re leader whose style demotivates and disengages or you’re a leader that inspires excellence in others.

Do great leaders focus on themselves or others?

Rather than constantly ensuring that the spotlight shines only in their own direction, great leaders know that focusing on how they can support and lead others towards a growth mindset is key to organisational success.

The route to mastery

Growth mindset leaders don’t believe that talent and ability are fixed. They understand that abilities and skills can be nurtured, encouraged and developed through effort, perseverance and examining the learning process.

Great leaders actively seek ways to encourage and motivate others to regard effort, perseverance and learning from errors as the route to mastery. Leaders who foster a growth mindset within their organisation realise that the rewards reaped by their approach will naturally reflect their own leadership skills and abilities.

How can growth mindset leadership bring out the best in others?

Great leaders encourage their reports to flex their problem solving abilities. They promote appropriate risk taking which in turn, fosters innovation and creativity. Growth mindset teams understand that failure is part of the process that guarantees deeper learning and improved performance. When a blame culture is shown the door, teams know that they’re safe to stretch their skills and abilities by taking on challenging tasks and projects without fearing the repercussions of failure.

Harnessing failure as a recipe for success

Growth mindset leaders are explicit with the message that harnessing failure can be a recipe for success. They encourage their people to acknowledge effort and ask

  • what went wrong when goals are not achieved
  • how things can be improved and done differently in future
  • how the team has overcome doubts and challenges in the past and how these past experiences can be applied to current challenges and setbacks

Leading by example

An authentic leadership style that demonstrates the ability to walk the talk is an essential part of fostering the right mindset in any business organisation.

Growth mindset leaders demonstrate that a love of challenge, an appreciation of effort and a willingness to collaborate and grow are key requirements for success.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Leading others to excellence

It’s not enough for leaders to merely espouse a growth mindset approach, they need to actively demonstrate a growth mindset in everything that they say and do, from setting out a vision for success to the way in which they interact with their people.

A truly growth mindset leader will consistently see potential in those that they lead and provide multiple opportunities to foster and develop an organisational culture that prizes effort and perseverance, as well as results, in order to achieve excellence.

Viv is a growth mindset expert at Positive Change Guru, providing practical tools for positive change, enabling companies and individuals globally to supercharge their performance.


Originally published at positivechangeguru.com on July 11, 2016.

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