3 benefits of leading with a growth mindset

Posted on:

10th July 2023

A growth mindset can unlock your full potential as a leader, as well as your team. Having a growth mindset means you can foster a culture of continuous improvement, inspire your team to reach new heights and create a positive work environment that promotes open communication, innovation, and inclusivity. With a growth mindset, you can enhance your ability to communicate effectively, mentor your team towards success, and create a culture of positivity that relieves stress and encourages personal and professional growth. 

Growth mindset VS fixed mindset

Before we dive into unlocking your full potential by leading with a growth mindset, it’s important to recognise what a fixed mindset is. Recruiters who believe that their abilities and skills are fixed may struggle to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the industry and may be less likely to seek out new opportunities for growth and development. This is known as a fixed mindset. On the other hand, recruiters with a growth mindset are more likely to embrace change, learn from their mistakes, and continuously improve their skills and abilities. As Simon Sinek said, “Those with a finite mindset fear surprises. Those with an infinite mindset see opportunity in the unexpected”.

It's time to face the reality - leaders who have a fixed mindset tend to micromanage their teams, and it's not pretty. This behaviour can be incredibly demotivating for the team, creating a culture of fear. And you know what that leads to? High levels of employee burnout, low retention rates, and a decrease in long-term performance. It's time for leaders to ditch the fixed mindset and start trusting their people to do their jobs well. Only then can we create a thriving and successful workplace for everyone involved!

The good news is, having a growth mindset is something you can learn, and understanding the two helps to make the shift.

What is a growth mindset?

Dr Carol Dweck, a psychologist and author of "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," discovered through a study that individuals who prioritise learning over outcomes experience neurological changes in the brain. This emphasises the need for a complete shift in mindset towards growth, which she terms a "growth mindset." It’s where you focus on the journey rather than the destination. 

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of recruitment, it's crucial to have a growth mindset. Those who believe in the power of effort and determination are the ones who will succeed. Leaders who embrace a growth mindset understand that even in times of crisis, there is always an opportunity for growth and development. They actively seek out ways to support their team's growth, encourage collaboration, and break down barriers to success. Blaming others is not an option, personal accountability is key. By fostering a culture of growth and development, leaders create a positive environment that helps their team overcome challenges and achieve their goals. 

“I think something that I've always taken with me, and it's a phrase that I heard years ago - if you're going to think big, think bigger, and if you're going to think bigger, think biggest. If you talk to any of my leaders, they'll have heard me say that time and time again, and I can now hear them sharing it with their people, too.” - Tom Chapman, Executive Vice President, USA.

To see if you tend to think in a fixed or growth-focused way, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you prefer to avoid challenges, or are you excited by them?

  2. Do you protect yourself from failure or use it to achieve higher levels of success?

  3. Do you find setbacks discouraging or motivating?

  4. How do you feel about feedback? Do you react badly or respond constructively?

  5. Are your talents set in stone or can you develop them?

What are the benefits of leading with a growth mindset?

According to the Harvard Business Review, employees at companies with growth mindsets are 34% more likely to feel a strong sense of commitment to the organisation. They are also 47% likelier to say their colleagues are trustworthy, 65% likelier to say their company supports risk-taking and 49% likelier to say that the company fosters innovation.

By embracing a growth mindset, you can expect to:


As Steven Bartlett once said, "Effective communication is the foundation upon which successful relationships are built." And successful relationships in the recruitment industry are a must!

If a recruiter were to have a fixed mindset, they would believe that relationships with their clients and candidates should come easily and demonstrate immediate compatibility. But if you’re in the industry already, you’ll know straight up, that isn’t the case! Strong relationships require effort and work and those with a growth mindset will know this. ​

Recruitment is an ever-evolving and incredibly innovative industry that gives opportunities for innovation, ideas, and challenging the status quo. By enhancing your ability to communicate effectively, you can contribute to this innovation and lead the way. Additionally, leaders who view others as sources of inspiration, rather than competition, can cultivate a collaborative work environment that promotes open communication and increased productivity.

Having a growth mindset provides a guide for navigating difficult conversations with clarity and composure. And these difficult conversations can happen on a regular basis in recruitment! By approaching the conversation with an attitude of curiosity and openness, rather than defensiveness or closed-mindedness, you can foster a more productive dialogue. It will also make the conversation a lot nicer for the person on the other end as they will feel heard and valued in the conversation. This can help to build trust and strengthen relationships, both of which are important in the recruitment industry.

​A growth mindset can play a crucial role in overcoming communication barriers, particularly in the context of flexible working where people may be working remotely or on different schedules. Those with a growth mindset are motivated to explore alternative ways of communication, seek feedback, and continuously improve their skills to bridge these gaps. The first step is acknowledging that individuals communicate in diverse ways, followed by adapting your expectations of how others ought to communicate. It’s crucial not to stereotype people based on their communication style, but rather acknowledge the strengths in each individual's communication approach and utilise them for the benefit of the team.​


In the recruitment industry, leaders with a growth mindset are the ones who can effectively mentor and guide their teams towards success. By recognising the potential for growth and development in each individual, leaders can foster that potential. Learning is a continuous process, so encourage your team to embrace challenges and view failures as development opportunities.

“When you learn to not fear failure, and view it as an opportunity…everything changes! Failure has been instrumental in my success, it has propelled me forward, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I am grateful for everything it’s taught me and will continue to teach me. F.A.I.L… First Attempt In Learning” - Hannah Gardiner, Head of Talent.

By prioritising the growth and development of your team members over just achieving short-term goals, you can create a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. This approach will not only benefit your team but also your clients and candidates, as they will see the positive impact of your team's growth and development on their recruitment experience.


Studies have found that when we experience stress, a growth mindset can relieve it and reduce the protective effects of externalising behaviour. Being less stressed means we can create a positive culture for our people.​

Recruiting talented individuals who bring value to the culture, rather than simply fitting into it, leads to a diverse, inclusive and dynamic team that can offer fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. Sometimes our unconscious bias or social stereotypes get in the way of building an inclusive team. This can cloud our judgement, hinder our decision-making, and prevent us from creating an environment that’s truly welcoming for all. 

It falls upon leaders to initiate a culture shift that promotes a greater understanding of unconscious bias. A growth mindset can assist in eliminating limiting beliefs by practising mindfulness. By being conscious of our thoughts and beliefs, we can effectively change them. If you encounter a negative stereotype or generalisation about someone, take a pause and ask yourself these three questions: Is this thought based on truth or assumption? Why do I believe it's true? How do I know it's true?

A growth mindset can create a culture of trust by promoting an environment where people are encouraged to take risks, learn from mistakes, and embrace challenges. By fostering a growth mindset, you can help your people develop confidence in their abilities and encourage them to share their ideas without fear of judgement. Additionally, a growth mindset encourages constructive feedback, allowing for open communication and a sense of collaboration. This trust-based culture fosters a sense of belonging and shared ownership, ultimately resulting in a more engaged and productive team.

So ask yourself - when confronted with a challenging task at work, do you opt to avoid it, deeming it unworthy of the trouble, or do you choose to confront it directly? If it’s the latter then you probably have a growth mindset!​

Embracing challenges, persisting through obstacles, and seeing failures as development opportunities for growth are all part of the growth mindset. It's a mindset that can unlock your full potential in whatever role you’re in! A leader with a growth mindset means you can inspire your teams to reach new heights and create a culture of continuous improvement! Check out how to lead with a growth mindset here.