This is the week I finally get to write about Growth Mindset.
Reading Carol Dweck’s book Mindset gave me a vocabulary for a theme I’ve always understood but didn’t know how to communicate.
For anyone out of the loop:
Growth Mindset means believing that people can get better at things with practice and hard work, not just talent alone. It’s at the heart of learning and staying strong even when things are tough. People with a growth mindset don’t give up easily when faced with problems. They see working hard as a way to get better at something. They learn from feedback and get motivated by others’ success.
A growth mindset leads to resilience, being open to feedback, and increased motivation and performance.
🧠You can not lead well without having a growth mindset. So what does this mean for your brand?
For managers, having a growth mindset means you’re open to new ideas and can adjust to change. It encourages ongoing learning.
It’s being able to say “Yes” when opportunities present themselves.
Defaulting to yes has a lot of advantages:
- Build new skills
- Gain valuable experience
- Develop new relationships
When you get tapped for a project that has potential to open doors for you, you might not get asked again if you say no.
🕶Taking on challenging assignments is a great way for you to develop advocates.
Unfortunately, the most talented leaders in an organization often pass on opportunities because they are scared of failure.
The always awful imposter syndrome kicks in and we start thinking about what other people will say if we fail.
Remember this, people are stupid. Some will judge you and criticize you no matter what you do, but most are too busy worrying about themselves to pay attention to you.
The great Katt Williams said it best,”You need haters, and if you need somebody to hate on, feel free to hate on me.”
Leaning into Growth Mindset is incredible for your brand.
The only way to gain experience is by doing things you have never done before. Taking on challenging assignments will accelerate your growth! What about when you aren’t getting selected for challenging assignments at work?
If you have the bandwidth, I encourage you to create your own opportunities. Start something that is aligned with your passions and will give you an opportunity to develop skills.
As an example, about 15 years ago I started a blog. It was aligned with my background in journalism and passion for NW Hip hop. It also gave me an opportunity to get experience giving feedback to writers. Because they were working for free, I had to find ways to motivate them without financial compensation. (It was a passion project without a budget.)
This experience leading a group of volunteers became foundational in the development of my own leadership style.
It’s important to note that depending on the company you work for, starting a side project might not look great on the resume, but it will help you develop skills needed to hit your goals as long as you design it that way.
If you feel like you are getting skipped over for opportunities in your organization you should talk to your manager or mentor. Don’t assume they know the career path you are interested in.
- Clarify your goals
- Be open to feedback
- And then FOLLOW UP!
99% of people miss this last part. Show you are serious by following up after receiving feedback. An easy way to do this is talking to your manager and mentor about how you are implementing the feedback and the impact you are having.
Show them you are a person who will do what you say you will.Is that it?
Growth Mindset will also brand you as the leader who proactively seeks feedback, because you know you need it to reach your potential.
When making hiring decisions, a question that will always be asked:
“Is this person coachable?”
You want the answer to be an obvious yes.
By showing you are gracious with feedback, it will be easier to position yourself as someone who is ready for an opportunity to level up.
This is a big deal.
Having a growth mindset also helps create a work environment where everyone works together and feedback is seen as helpful.
It encourages people to try new things without fear. If they make a mistake, a growth mindset sees it as a chance to learn, not a failure. This attitude not only makes employees happy, but also helps the work get done better and faster. It will play a big role in building a strong and successful team.
When you make growth your focus you can’t lose. And speaking of not taking losses, next week we will be talking about Self Awareness, the most important awareness of all.
Jacob Espinoza is a leadership coach in Salem, Oregon. For more information visit JacobEspinoza.com.