Is the sky truly the limit? It depends on whether you’ve first cultivated a growth mindset.
Growth-focused minds thrive on challenges and what could be rather than what is. They see opportunity in failure and lessons in difficult moments. Those with a fixed mindset know their feet are firmly planted on the ground and see the sky as being out of their reach. But those who cultivate a growth mindset know that things like height or gravity are mere hindrances and not the final answer.
What place does a growth mindset have in company leadership and innovation? And more importantly, how can minds be encouraged to grow?
Stanford psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck found that managers see far more leadership potential in employees that have or develop a growth mindset compared to those that do not. It’s a quality that should be developed in everyone, because a company full of leaders rather than order takers is better positioned to thrive.
A recent Forbes article mentions that Dweck discovered a few interesting trends in companies with a growth mindset as part of their culture. Employees are:
In addition, Dweck found that employee engagement indicators align with higher financial returns, and the culture itself doubles as a recruiting tool.
This is due, at least in part, to the fact that companies with a fixed mindset tend to value a group of “star performers” over the workforce as a whole. The employees who are not a part of this inner circle then feel undervalued. They fear failure, and thus pursue fewer innovative ideas and projects.
It isn’t just the responsibility of an organization to promote a growth mindset. In fact, Dweck reveals that the views we adopt about ourselves affect the choices we make, and this view is cultivated at a very young age. However, organizations can step up to encourage growth and demonstrate that potential isn’t carved into stone.
Instilling a growth mindset in your team and company culture begins with demonstrating its possibilities in yourself. Let’s look at some things you can do to inspire your team and fellow colleagues:
A passion for learning speaks louder than a hunger for approval, according to Dweck. This shows you believe that you’re not limited by the traits nature gave you. You have the ability to learn new things and cultivate greater capacities through conscious effort.
Gratitude is contagious. It prepares you for what you’re going to achieve and allows you to appreciate the effort it took to achieve it. It’s also wildly powerful in attracting others through your purpose.
Process is important, but don’t strive for perfection. Keep your eyes on the end results and reframe your setbacks as learning opportunities. When you can fail often and quickly and not fear doing so, the bigger picture stays within sight.
How are you cultivating a growth mindset as a leader? Explore our free resources to support your goals.