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Unlock Your Leadership Potential In 6 Simple Steps

Written by: Asha Ghosh, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Being a leader is challenging, it leads to moments of self-doubt, moments where we struggle to take risks, and even moments where we believe our ambition isn’t enough. One effective strategy to counter these moments is to reset our mindset. This blog post provides six steps to developing a mindset that allows us to grow and develop as leaders, by learning and unlearning habits, beliefs and behaviours that both aid, and hinder, our success in life and work.

What Is A Mindset For Growth?

We develop our mental attitude over the course of our lifetime and this determines how we interpret and respond to situations we encounter. Can it be shifted, can it evolve, and can we learn to respond to situations differently? Well, that is up to you; they’re powerful beliefs that hold us in a pattern of behaviour, but they're in our minds, and our minds can be changed.

Carol Dweck, a prominent researcher of our mental attitudes, or mindsets, has highlighted that people either have a fixed or a growth mindset, with each outlook impacting every element of our lives and careers. With a fixed mindset there is a notion that we can’t be better, can’t shift, or can't be developed; whereas a growth mindset believes change is possible through effort and practice.

Winston Churchill once remarked, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” It is the courage to take on our beliefs and persist through the challenges this presents. It is the courage to learn from the feedback and sometimes harshness of self-criticism, or to see others' achievements as a motivator, rather than a validator that you’re somehow less capable. It is the sense that success is possible.

Having the courage to perceive obstacles as opportunities, to use failures to cultivate skills, and be inspired by the accomplishments of others, is essential for success and is possible with a growth mindset.

How Fixed Is Your Mindset?

Answer these simple questions to start to learn about your own mindset:

  1. Do you often feel like an imposter?

  2. Have you a fear that you may not be smart or talented as others?

  3. What is your first reaction to challenges and problems; to be angry, to blame and to see it as a failure?

  4. Do you feel threatened if someone else spots an opportunity that you've missed?

  5. Do you feel inspired or threatened by others’ successes?

  6. Do you embrace risk, or avoid it? Are you known for trying new things or keeping in your lane?

  7. Are you stepping in to resolve issues yourself, instead of encouraging your team to do it?

  8. Are you guilty of micromanaging your team?

  9. How often do ask for updates outside of meetings?

  10. Are you known to make unrequested suggestions about how you would do things differently?

Your responses could reflect an unwelcoming reality: your mindset is more fixed than anticipated. If you are yet still intrigued you can try this mindset quiz to gain more understanding

The Effects of Mindsets on Teams

Leaders with a fixed mindset often inadvertently produce an environment where team members are scared to take chances, develop their abilities, and offer their ideas, for fear of being seen as a failure if anything goes wrong. This type of atmosphere encourages a protectionist, blaming attitude, which centres on protecting not collective growth.

However, leaders with a growth mindset will create a team ready to debate, exchange feedback, and collaborate. They’re willing to take risks, and to fail, in order to identify opportunities to improve business outcomes. Through my experience as a coach, I have observed how leaders who cultivate a conducive atmosphere for growth and learning, where team members are not afraid to share their ideas, are able to build high performing, successful teams.

6 Steps to Developing A Growth Mindset

1. Build Skills of Self-Awareness

Cultivating the ability to monitor yourself is one of the most important skills you can have as a leader. Self-awareness is the ability to check in with yourself, to notice thoughts, feelings and actions, and to reflect on how effective they have been and what could be done differently.

Coaching creates space to slow down and reflect upon your effectiveness, and it is in those moments that the growth and development occurs; that moment when a leader I work with realise something is stopping them, something needs to change. The good news is there are actions you can take now to help achieve this even without a coach, by setting time aside to reflect, or to journal. It is the space that is important and the ability to challenge yourself that helps you grow. Check out my earlier article with Brainz Magazine where I share tips to help understand as leader our self-talk, there is some helpful advice on bringing awareness to your thought pattens.

2. Realising You Have Leadership Blindspots

We as leaders all have limits, assumptions, or blindspots, even in our readiness and willingness to make changes to ourselves and how we lead. To reset our mindset, an important step is recognising we all have behavioural traits that we’re not aware of. We don’t see what we don’t want to see, and don’t know what we don’t know. To become more effective, the key is to discover your blindspots. Two powerful routes to achieving this are: asking for feedback from others, and taking time to reflect on your performance:

  1. What has and hasn’t worked well for us over the past year?

  2. How much clarity do you and your team have on the objectives? And do you know which are the key priorities?

  3. How much time do you spend on priorities?

  4. How do you work with conflicts on time and resources?

  5. How can you utilise your team’s time more effectively?

  6. How do unhealthy relationships affect your leadership impact?

3. Embrace Change as a Constant

The most effective leaders today have learned to not only accept but also embrace the fact that our world is rapidly changing and is hugely unpredictable, but how to you do that, how do you just let go and accept things are always moving at pace? Using your improved self-awareness skills you is how, check in and reflect on:

  1. How do you respond to change most of the time?

  2. When have you been OK to move with the unpredictability?

  3. When have you welcomed transformation?

  4. When has fear taken over and slowed down or stopped change?

In noticing the difference in your response you are building a picture of when you sense you are able to change and when resistance and fear takes over. What can you do with this awareness to to work with the feelings, the actions of inaction and encourage yourself to be ok with it. In doing so we are easing the fear, over time we can pre-empt when fear may take over and start to ease our response much earlier on.

4. Seek Benefits of Learning through Mistakes

When running a business/team, errors are inescapable. Research shows that leaders who use mistakes to their advantage, incorporate the lessons learned into their strategies and talk feeling with the team about the challenges are more likely to push boundaries and build successful teams. A byproduct is over time, you are building a team environment where failing is OK, because we can grow from it.

5. Journey Not a Destination

A crucial component of a growth mindset is to focus on the process, and less on the immediate results. No team or organisation will function flawlessly 100% of the time. Hence, it is important to keep track of the development, recognise or even celebrate you and your teams growth, the changes that have been made the improved execution. Steady enhancements are just as important as reaching the goal.

6. The Power of Perseverance

Perseverance is essential when trying to attain growth. If you can learn to push through any failure or obstacle and not give up, no matter how difficult the situation might seem, you are developing and growing; this is a learning zone. With enough time, effort, and perseverance, as a leader you will be able to use your learnings to guide others, empowering those around you to their ultimate goals.

As leaders we are eager to learn a new strategy, or find new ways to help ourselves and our team to succeed. Cultivating a growth mindset, challenging ourselves and continuing to learn, is an incredibly powerful strategy to adopt. It starts with awareness, and in taking a few moments to reflect on the 10 questions to assess your mindset, you have started that transformation – it is what you choose to do with it now, that will either allow you to grow, or keep you in a fixed lane.

Check out the Honest Partnership mindset quiz, to help you understand your attitudes and beliefs more.

Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Asha Ghosh, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

My coaching programmes have already enabled senior professional women globally to unlock new levels of potential in themselves and their teams. Resulting in these professionals being able to lead, inspire and make bold decisions that not only support business objectives, but also allow leaders to find satisfaction within their home life, all underpinned by promoting a proactive approach to personal well-being.



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