The Leader’s Mindset

The Leader’s Mindset

Your life and career are as good as your mindset. If you believe the world is against you and nothing can go your way, that mindset will bleed into everything that you do. Similarly, if you believe that you are a great leader that makes things happen, that will also be seen in everything that you do. Your mindset and attitude show up in your communications, projects, relationships, and virtually everything you do.

Mindset is the key to your success. What kind of mindset do you have? There are two distinctions, a fixed versus a growth mindset. If you have a fixed mindset, you believe that you are unable to change and you are who you are. A growth mindset is the belief that you can change if you invest the time and energy. Those with a growth mindset find more success than those with a fixed mindset because they believe that they can grow and evolve. For example, let’s say you received feedback that you were underperforming. A growth mindset would see this as an opportunity to develop and improve in the areas where they are underperforming. A fixed mindset would likely find excuses for their underperformance or simply believe they did their best and they cannot do more. What type of leader do you want to be?

Here are 6 things to start doing now to develop a growth mindset.

  1. Embrace who you are. Instead of judging yourself by your flaws and weaknesses, focus on your positive attributes and strengths. Understand your flaws, but do not use those to assess your greatness. When you embrace who you are, you are able to build confidence which will help you look at challenges as opportunities.
  2. Let go perfectionism. Perfectionism implies that there is only one right outcome and that if we do not achieve it we are not good enough. Perfection is a myth, it does not exist. It is like trying to find the fountain of youth or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You can keep searching but you will likely only find increased stress, decreased confidence, and a stunted success. Embrace your mistakes, take them in stride, and continue to develop instead of focusing on how “not enough” you are.
  3. Redefine success. If success means being the best in everything or never making a mistake you are setting yourself up for failure. Think about a goal you have. How are you defining success? For many perfectionist thinkers it is to avoid failure and mistakes, however that definition in and of itself may be setting you up to fail. It is black and white, win-lose thinking. Instead live in the gray area. For example, if you are working on a project, instead of having a goal to complete everything perfectly according to plan, try instead to redefine it as taking your time, learning as you go, to ensure you have the best outcome you can given the information you had at the time.
  4. Look at problems as opportunities. Instead of seeing things as happening to you, think strategically. See problems as opportunities for growth. Look at the problem and identify what you can control. Once you have that identified, ask yourself, “how can I grow from this?” For example, instead of focusing on having a budget cut for an upcoming proposal, think about it as an opportunity to get more creative with your approach to the proposal.
  5. Set clear goals. If you want to grow you need to know what you are working toward. Without goals you will continue to feel like you are doing the same old thing which can perpetuate fixed mindset thinking. Challenge yourself with goals that will help you continue to grow and develop.
  6. Step out of your comfort zone. Consider this quote, “comfort should scare you.” Comfort should scare you as it keeps you playing small. The more comfortable you become with your job and responsibilities, the more risk averse you will become. Embrace change and seek experiences that will challenge you to grow and discover new ways of thinking and doing things.

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