Reflections by Ray #[16] – #Muddling my way to a #Growth #Mindset

I have recently been put in charge of a new team and one of my little young members (a Manju Warrier lookalike by the way for those who know the Malayalam film industry) spoke to me of how confused she was about where she fitted in the organization and whether she would add value to […]

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I have recently been put in charge of a new team and one of my little young members (a Manju Warrier lookalike by the way for those who know the Malayalam film industry) spoke to me of how confused she was about where she fitted in the organization and whether she would add value to my team. She had already moved twice between departments, heard remarks from few people about whether she was thinking of a career change because of a totally different qualification she took recently, was confused about her true dreams and passions and her deep sighs of when it would all make sense kept echoing in my ears this weekend…

A little girl who reminded me again of my Memorable Moments – Muddled Years (Reflections By Ray Blog #12) and gave me this inspiration to write more on this topic and maybe extend it to how it all depends on our mindset and belief in ourselves that we are capable of doing many things and can always grow and learn in any field… one that I am still learning at 51, supported by old colleagues, dear friends, a great boss and mentor, my hubby and kids.

So many people don’t know where they fit unless they go through this trial-and-error method, some may know their calling but be forced to work in a mundane job to pay the bills. Some find a balance by doing it as a hobby until they are able to do it fulltime or continue like that till the rest of the life.

I look at my elder son, who will go to University next year, already very clear on what he wants to study, what he wants to work as etc. narrowed down to such a scary level of detail that I wonder and pray he doesn’t get disappointed along the way if things don’t turn out the way he wants, if he doesn’t like it as much as he envisions and more so if he will not realize all the other wonderful talents he has…

Back to little “Manju”, I told her this was normal… and in my opinion I felt it good she had changed roles and departments because this had made her realize what she didn’t like doing above everything else… just listening to her I could see she wasn’t going to fit into the role of a Strategy/Business Analyst as she was much more of a people-oriented type, seemed to love interacting, reading, and learning.

For me as a team leader, I was happy she was open enough to share her true self with me and made me determined that as long as she was with me she would work in a role that she would flourish in … it would be a shame to keep such talent under a bushel… or in a role that would restrict her capabilities.

I told her about our Benchmarking function and told her of things that would excite her and bring out her potential such as establishing a benchmarking club, arranging benchmarking tours, embedding learning in the organization etc. and I could see her eyes spark up.

I learnt a valuable lesson too… one I actually learnt from an old friend of mine who aspires to be a CEO (but in my mind is already one as he displays all those characteristics instinctively) and that is if you need the best out of your team… you need to listen to them first … understand their strengths and then allocate work based on what they will feel proud of delivering… while developing them in the other areas that need to be worked upon.

When we finished our conversation, she confirmed she would love to work on those areas and also wanted to learn about this “difficult” planning function … to which I replied … nothing is difficult unless you decide it is so in your mind… and everything can be learnt.

On another tangent this conversation also triggered a memorable speech by one of my favourite actors Matthew McConaughey when he won the Oscar in 2014…

the essence of which was to keep growing always… in his words “My hero is always 10 years away” and he keeps working and working to achieve that …

That growth mindset is what will take anyone forward… there may be bumps and hurdles along the way but if you have that humility and willingness to learn … you will always look for the next and the next … and it never ends…

I have a friend Kruts who never ceases to amaze me .. her spontaneity and passion to dabble in different lines of businesses ranging from career advice to the quaint little craft pieces she sells, the events she arranges, another store that she’s planning … Ooops almost mentioned the name here! such is her infectious enthusiasm to try different things it brings me to another piece of advice that I just told my son…

Don’t just bury yourself into one hole like a badger and work away diligently at what you think you are good at and yes I do agree (try arguing with a teenager as stubborn as you are) you need to do that to become really great at it but even badgers put their heads out and look around at what’s happening around and you need to do that to grow…

I have grown immensely by doing different things and I know many who can vouch for the same. I know sales leaders who are great authors, “nerdy” IT people who have written/ are writing great books (Ganesh, Kirtish do continue to like my posts 😊) senior army personnel who are great motivators (they have seen so much and have so much wisdom), young girls with their various talents of art and craft coming up with their own business offerings, administrative assistants making their way up from MCs to motivational podcasters …

There is so much we can do if we use our mind and talents fully and have that growth mindset. Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your own ability and can learn and improve) is the key to success.

Yes, hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny and that you can dabble in as many things as you want.

A growth mindset can really affect your learning and your life. Having a growth mindset means having a positive outlook on challenges and pushing yourself. This can really make an impact on your learning as your best work usually comes out of this. Having a fixed mindset, people believe their qualities are fixed traits and therefore cannot change. These people document their intelligence and talents rather than working to develop and improve them. They also believe that talent alone leads to success, and effort is not required.

People with a growth mindset have a belief that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience. According to Carol Dweck, the famous psychologist and author of the bestseller book “Mindset – the New Psychology of Success” when a student has a fixed mindset, they believe that their basic abilities, intelligence, and talents are fixed traits.  In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.

Having a growth mindset has a big impact on the way we think. It helps us take risks, try new things and become more successful…

Will keep that for Conversation Number 2 with my new team member …

Until then hope this helped someone out there … writing about it has sure helped me and my son…

Signing off for now,

Ray.

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