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Why Mentality Is Crucial For Leaders – And How To Develop A Growth Mindset In 7 Points!

Written by: Rodolfo Parlati, 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.


Have you ever thought that success and failure can depend on your mindset? It is the setting of the mind, that is, the mental attitude with which you live and interpret reality, circumstances, and emotional reactions, as well as the perception of yourself. How you observe your experiences is certainly influenced by what you lived and learned over time, as well as your culture, outcomes, and self-esteem. Furthermore, your mindset directly affects the quality of your relationships.

Phrases like "That’s the way I am", "I am not good at these things", "I don't like challenges", "I will never succeed, it is useless to try" make you understand quite clearly the mentality of an individual and their way of dealing with things.

So, you can choose to take all your failures, losses, and negative situations that life reserved for you and let them completely overwhelm you, or you can decide to rebel, take all the good you can find and take action to change things. It’s up to you.

Fixed mindset and growth mindset

Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology and researcher at Stanford University, began to notice that students ready to get up after a failure performed better than those who broke down and faced every challenge with discouragement. It is how you face a challenge that determines your results. Based on the type of approach, Dr. Dweck coined the terms "fixed mindset" and "growth mindset" to describe the basic beliefs that people have about intelligence and learning.

The fixed mindset refers to that static mental attitude in which people consider their skills, intelligence, abilities, and knowledge as hardly modifiable things. People with this type of attitude believe that only talent leads to success and, if you don't have it, you have no power to achieve it.

A fixed mindset leads to mental rigidity and extreme difficulty in facing change or unexpected events and finding a solution to problems, and experiencing mistakes as irreparable failures.

Leaders rooted in this fixed approach tend to demotivate their groups by stifling creativity, feeding distrust, adopting a culture of guilt, and discouraging people around them.

The growth mindset, instead, opens up to change, which is lived as a reason for growth, development, activation, and improvement of all available resources, acquiring new ones, and experimenting. This mindset considers failures as a part of the change process and a further stimulus to move forward, understanding what caused them and looking for new strategies.

Regardless of the situation in which they find themselves, people with this mental attitude constantly try to improve themselves. As a result, they are, on average, more successful and live a less stressful and more rewarding life than people with a fixed mindset.

Leaders with growth mindsets believe that perseverance, effort, and learning from failure can improve performance. They can empower everyone to succeed and grow by instilling the culture of success in the organization, giving others confidence, and showing them the path.

Today, the business world requires all entrepreneurs and managers to make quick decisions and face the change due to technologies and innovations in the best possible way.

Hence, leaders must work consciously to develop and maintain a growth mindset for themselves, their employees, and their organizations. This requires an overview based on a shared culture across the company.

Developing a growth mindset requires commitment, confidence, and even a little courage. But do not worry! Anyone can learn! You simply have to believe in this belief and focus on the following key points to develop leadership based on a growth mindset.

1. Get out of your comfort zone.

You surely remember, when you were a child, all the people around you who contributed to creating your mindset. They tried to protect you from failures and dangers, but the result was to leave you in a “comfort zone.” If you never want to find yourself in uncomfortable situations and never allow yourself to be wrong, you won’t certainly be able to go beyond your current limits and improve.

Having a growth mindset also means accepting mistakes and facing hard situations as an inevitable and indispensable part of your growth process.

2. Never stop learning.

Today’s business world is changing rapidly. So, your current knowledge will soon be insufficient to face tomorrow’s new challenges. How can you cope with this evolution? You have to continue to learn. Getting and using information is easier than before, thanks to the internet. Therefore, start evaluating and preparing yourself for all that you can still learn, and don't just focus on what you already know.

If you embrace a growth mindset and encourage its development among your employees as well, you will have a team of individuals able to actively increase their skills over time.

3. Focus on the process and not on the result.

If you focus on the result, you will inevitably be discouraged, mostly at the beginning. Instead, try to analyze the process itself. Have you been persistent? Have you tried hard enough? Have you looked for alternative actions? Focus on your performance, and the results will come.

4. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.

Everyone makes mistakes. The problem is when you find it hard to admit them. The key is to embrace mistakes and take action. This makes a difference and not the mistake itself.

Having a growth mindset means treasuring failure and considering it as an opportunity to understand, verify options and take new perspectives to prevent that mistake in the future.

When employees are not stuck with fear of failure, they also tend to be more creative in solving problems and achieve better performances.

5. Embrace innovation.

In today’s business world, it is essential to spread a corporate culture aimed at innovation with the adoption of new dedicated strategies. If you want to thrive with your business, you have to actively adapt to digital transformation. The risk is to remain on the sidelines of the market and slowly disappear. Both you and your team need to be willing to develop not only a growth mindset but also a digital mindset. This is a mentality capable of managing technological and digital innovation of the organizational structure in everyday life by embracing the digital era as a stimulus, not a threat.

If you encourage your team members to expand into new areas of development, the whole organization will benefit. A growth mindset will allow you to take inspiration and benefit from this transformation, while a fixed mindset will only ignore the change, to go back to working "the old way."

6. Share success and inspirational stories.

At times, the success of others can be scary. The first reaction can be to feel inadequate in front of the achievements of others. You feel to lose the desire to dare, fearing not to do better than others. Instead, you can learn a lot from their successes, and sharing their case histories with your team can be very useful to find inspiration. What have they done? How did they do it? What can they teach you?

7. Build a growth team.

Every team is an entity that arises from the collaboration between its members and their ability to work and grow to bring an added value altogether. A growth team is not simply made up of members with a growth mindset. The achievement of results also depends on the ability to stimulate the training, growth, and collaboration of the group. To do this, you need to:

  • Encourage sharing of ideas and thinking outside the box.

  • Set both common and individual goals with your team members.

  • Provide networking opportunities and training resources.

The Vision of Yourself

Thanks to a growth mindset, concepts like difficulties, obstacles, and efforts mean something different. In the end, the vision you have of yourself can determine your future development and the results you can achieve in your life. A leadership based on the growth mindset can be a solid point of reference for the others and, at the same time, to encourage and increase their skills, to find hidden aspirations, to bring to light skills that it was not known to possess and transmit knowledge and experiences.

For more info, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or visit my website! Read more from Rodolfo!


Rodolfo Parlati, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Rodolfo Parlati is a Professional Life & Executive Coach. Always inspired by the desire to impact others positively, his mission is to help people and professionals be happy and successful by finding out their inner potential and exploring the right path to follow to "give shape" to their goals. Passionate about building connections, the key elements of his coaching strategy are creating meaningful actions to attain the clients' goals, knowing what is holding them back, and supporting them in finding higher awareness. His natural curiosity has always driven him to be an eager lifelong learner, explore new fields, and look for the answers to any question.



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