AN AMAZINGLY PRACTICAL APPROACH TO PRACTICING A GROWTH MINDSET

Without exception, growth is a lifelong process for all successful leaders.

You may be mature in a few areas of leadership, but we’re all infants in many.

 

Community:

Growth requires community. We stagnate and die in isolation. Everyone needs seclusion to refresh and reflect. But growth requires connection.

  1. Who knowingly participates in your growth?
  2. Whose growth are you actively encouraging?
  3. Who knows your growth goals? Whose goals do you know?
  4. How might you establish and nurture growth-connections between team members?

Confrontation:

Growth is a myth in environments that tolerate deceit, backstabbing, malevolence, and hypocrisy. Leaders who tolerate offenses against community – in the name of delivering results – destroy growth and limit results.

  1. Never tolerate a high performer who destroys community.
  2. Eliminate hypocrisy by practicing transparency regarding strengths, weaknesses, and development. Teams can’t pull for each other if they don’t know each other’s growth-goals.
  3. Remove people who work to undermine others.

Building an environment of growth is one of leadership’s greatest challenges and opportunities.

Learning:

Learn to grow, not to know.

The assimilation of head-knowledge results in arrogance. Practice and application keep us humble.

  1. How are you putting new leadership principles into practice?
  2. How are you learning from failure?

Motivation:

An environment of growth emerges from seeking the best interest of others.

  1. How are you encouraging growth?
  2. How are you forgiving failure?
  3. How are you providing timely feedback?
  4. How are you expressing commitment to each other’s growth?

Purposeful practice:

You don’t get better at playing golf by playing golf. You get better by purposefully practicing various elements of the game.

We don’t grow as leaders by playing at leadership. We grow when we purposefully practice one component of leadership. You might develop your skill at delivering timely feedback, leading meetings, or stretching people, for example.

What kills a growth mindset?

How might leaders practice a growth mindset?

Resource: “Mindset,” by Carol Dweck

 

How To Set Intentions That Energize You

We’ve all heard how crucial it is to set intentions, goals and targets.

Powerful goals electrify us. Clear intentions energize and pull us forward.

Without a clearcut intention, we’re reactive and don’t get around to doing the important things when we want them done. Instead, we spend our time fighting random fires.


Without clear intentions, anything might happen. And usually does.

Literally, intentions are like the steering wheel on your car. Their whole purpose is to give you control over where you’re going. But when setting intentions or goals, keep in mind that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Now, it’s good to have intentions at more than one level. When we get up into the more conceptual intentions, such as “I will contribute to the wellbeing of those around me,” these become like a mission statement.

But then, be sure you move on to decide specifically how you will go about implementing your mission in your daily life. Specifics are essential.

How — specifically — will you put your mission into action today? What will you actually DO about your highest intentions?

It’s important to set intentions for yourself because this is where the rubber meets the road.

Just say “I’m going to do this and this.” It should be nothing big and overpowering. Just some stuff you’re meaning to do or achieve short-term.

Be sure to write them down on paper. When you list them out, you can clearly look over your results afterward and check yourself.

At the end of today or this time next week, did you do what you said you’d do? Expressed like that, it’s clear that we’re building a kind of internal integrity check within ourselves.

When you’re first starting to build this new intention-setting skill (habit), it’s important not to pile on too much. Sure, it’s easy to get all excited about turning over a new leaf, but it’s essential that you start where you are NOW, not where you think you SHOULD be.

There are things that, from experience, you already know you can do. Set your intentions to do those things (plus perhaps a little bit more) and achieve them. Then, when you’re comfortable doing what you say you’ll do, then you can begin to stretch your intention muscles a little more.

But as in any new regimin, begin easy. Begin with what you can actually do. And only after you get comfortable with the intention-setting process should you start going for real growth. Patience – taking small, measured steps – is more than a virtue here. It’s the key to keeping yourself moving forward. (Notice I said patience, not procrastination.)

Attempt too much too soon, and the end result will be another round of demotivation and discouragement.

Instead, go about this logically and gradually: keep your eye on the level you want to reach next year, and let today’s effort take you 1/365th of the way there. Do this, and you’ll see real, measurable progress as well as achievements you’ll truly be proud of.

It’s all pretty simple stuff, really. Just training yourself to keep your word to yourself.