Back to Insights

10 ways to lead with a growth mindset

  • Publish Date: Posted 3 months ago

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, individuals who believe that their abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work are more likely to reach their goals. And this is what is known as a growth mindset! People with this type of mindset are 47% more likely to achieve success in their personal and professional lives! Check out our article on the benefits of leading with a growth mindset here.

On the other hand, if someone has a fixed mindset, they might think that their skills and intelligence are set in stone and can't be improved.This can lead to a fear of failure and a lack of motivation to take on new challenges.

Leaders with a growth mindset are truly inspiring! They are constantly seeking to learn and improve themselves, as well as their team. They understand that success is not just about being the smartest person in the room or having all the answers, but about being open to new ideas, collaborating with others, and embracing challenges. These leaders encourage their team members to take risks, learn from their mistakes, and grow as individuals. They lead with empathy and understanding, and are always willing to lend a helping hand or provide guidance when needed. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement, leaders with a growth mindset can help their team members achieve their full potential and ultimately achieve greater success as a team.

Are you ready to elevate your leadership skills? In this article, we'll share some valuable tips on how to lead with a growth mindset, helping you to inspire and empower your team to reach their full potential. 

  1. Embrace change and challenges

Leaders who embrace change with a growth mindset are the ones who can drive their teams and organisations forward. You shouldn’t fear the unknown as change is inevitable in order to stay ahead of the curve, so you must be willing to adapt and innovate. 

Living with fear stops us taking risks, and if you don't go out on the branch, you're never going to get the best fruit. Leaders with a growth mindset must understand that uncertainty and ambiguity are opportunities to learn and grow, not just potential sources of risk. You should recognise that there is no guaranteed path to success and that mistakes and failures are merely steps in the learning process. 

  1.  Praise your team's effort AND their results

According to research, praising individuals for their effort to improve and grow is more effective than praising them solely for their talents or abilities.

Leading with a growth mindset involves recognising the value of effort and growth, rather than just focusing on the end result. It's important as a leader to encourage and praise your team for their efforts, as well as their results. This approach cultivates a positive and supportive team environment, where team members feel valued and appreciated for their contributions, regardless of the outcome. 

Praising effort helps to motivate and inspire team members to continue learning, growing, and pushing themselves to achieve their goals. When leaders prioritise and acknowledge the effort that goes into achieving results, team members feel a sense of ownership and pride in their work, leading to a more engaged and productive team.

  1. Emphasise the power of yet

The power of "yet" is a concept that emphasises the importance of having a growth mindset. It refers to the idea that even if you haven't achieved something yet, it doesn't mean that you never will. It encourages people to view setbacks and failures as temporary obstacles rather than permanent limitations. 

For example, if you say "I can't do this," you are implying that you will never be able to do it. However, if you add the word "yet" to the end of that sentence, it changes the meaning. "I can't do this yet" suggests that you are still learning and growing, and that you have the potential to eventually achieve your goal with hard work and perseverance. 

By encouraging your people to adopt a "yet" mindset, they can overcome self-doubt and negative self-talk. It helps them to stay motivated and keep working towards their goals, even when they face setbacks or challenges. The power of "yet" is a powerful tool for personal growth and development, and it's especially important for leaders to understand and model this mindset for their teams.

“What I try to practise as much as possible is raising my team's self-awareness around their own beliefs and their own mindsets, if you like. So as an example, catching people's language. So when you hear people say things like, “I can't do that, I'll never be able to do that, when I do X, this happens”, and challenging it with things like, “What's the evidence that you've got to suggest that that's true?  What's an alternative way of looking at that?” I think those really little interventions often can do a lot for just adapting someone's limiting beliefs and helping them adopt a bit more of a growth mindset.” Amy Williams, Head of Performance Development.

  1. Be open to feedback

Feedback can be a powerful tool for growth, allowing us to learn from our mistakes and improve our skills. As a leader you should approach feedback with an open mind and a willingness to learn, recognising that everyone can benefit from constructive criticism. Listen carefully to the feedback given and ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of what areas need improvement. Remember, nobody is perfect and everyone has room for growth. By being open to feedback and using it to make positive changes, you can develop a growth mindset and achieve your full potential, whilst encouraging your team to do the same. 

  1. Challenge the status quo

As a leader, it’s not just maintaining the status quo; you must strive to push the boundaries and make a lasting impact. Leaders with a growth mindset are constantly seeking ways to challenge the norm and make things better. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try something new, even if it means going against the grain. Innovation and progress come from breaking free from the conventional way of doing things! You should inspire and encourage your team to think similarly and always ask questions.

  1.  Encourage inclusivity and celebrate diversity

Inclusion is all about celebrating our differences and embracing the unique ideas and perspectives of each individual. Leaders with a growth mindset know that this is crucial to achieving success, and they make it their top priority. By embracing diversity and promoting inclusivity, you can unlock a wealth of creativity and innovation within your teams.

  1. Review performance regularly 

Take a closer look at your performance management practices to ensure they are effective in driving growth and success for your team. By regularly evaluating and refining your approach, you can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to help your team reach their full potential.

  1. Continuously learn and invest in yourself 

Leaders who lead with a growth mindset understand the importance of continuously learning and investing in themselves. Personal and professional growth are essential to your success as a leader. By continuously learning and investing in yourself, you can stay current with trends and technologies, develop new skills and knowledge, and gain fresh perspectives. As you grow, you’ll become more effective in your role, better able to guide and inspire your team, and more adept at navigating the challenges of their organisation.

  1. Stay curious and ask questions

Leaders who are curious have a natural inclination to learn and explore new things. This curiosity is an essential component of a growth mindset, as it’ll enable you to embrace challenges, learn from mistakes, and develop new solutions to complex problems. Curiosity will also help you to stay open-minded and adaptable in the face of change. By encouraging your team to be curious, you can create a culture of continuous learning and improvement, which can lead to greater innovation and success.

  1. Lead by example

Modelling the behaviours and attitudes you want to see in your people demonstrates a growth mindset. Everyone on your team has the potential to learn and grow and so you must create a culture that supports this growth. By showing empathy and vulnerability, you not only build trust and openness but also help your team develop a growth mindset. When team members feel comfortable sharing their experiences and perspectives, they are more likely to see challenges as opportunities to learn and improve. This mindset can lead to better collaboration and communication, ultimately helping the team to achieve shared goals.

How can a leader create and nurture a growth mindset?

Developing a growth mindset within your team is crucial for success, and it all begins with fostering a culture of continuous learning. When you inspire your team to continuously seek out new knowledge and skills, you establish an environment that fosters continuous improvement and progress - the foundation for growth. This approach will help your team become more effective in their roles and better equipped to take on any new challenges that come their way with ease. So, make it a priority to establish a culture of continuous learning within your team, and watch as they thrive and achieve great success!

It’s not just about learning, but also supporting individuals' progress. This involves providing your team with opportunities to grow, setting clear expectations and achievable goals, and offering constructive feedback to guide their development. By adopting this approach, you can empower your team to reach their full potential.

In conclusion, leading with a growth mindset is key to achieving personal and professional success, both for yourself and your team. It involves embracing change and challenges, praising effort as well as results and emphasising the power of "yet”.  Leaders with a growth mindset understand that success is not just about being the smartest person in the room or having all the answers, but about being open to new ideas, collaborating with others, and embracing challenges. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement, leaders with a growth mindset can help their team members achieve their full potential and ultimately achieve greater success as a team. Remember, a leader with a growth mindset is like a gardener who nurtures their plants to help them grow and bloom. With the right tools and care, anything is possible!