In today’s tech-driven work culture, new trends come as fast as others go. When it comes to being an effective leader, it’s less about what you know and more about your ability to learn.
Having a growth mindset allows you to deal with challenges as they arise and adjust your strategy accordingly. As a result, you will be the one your employees turn to for guidance. By knowing how to navigate new situations, you will earn their trust and respect and be the one they turn to during times of change.
According to Harvard Business Review, “leaders who are in learning mode develop stronger leadership skills than their peers.”
In other words, to become a better leader, you need to become a better learner. The leaders who have a growth mindset are the most successful. This means participating in learning activities and challenging themselves on a regular basis. Whether it’s going to seminars, tuning in to podcasts, or taking classes, they are committed to expanding their professional development. These leaders are adaptable, open-minded, and have an intellectual curiosity that is unmatched.
Now, take a seat and put your thinking cap on. For your first lesson, I’ll be sharing three tips to get into learning mode:
Get comfortable living in a state of “becoming”
As Michelle Obama writes in her book, Becoming, we as human beings are constantly evolving and unfolding into who we are meant to be. If you truly want to make an impact in the world, “focus more on learning than on succeeding – instead of pretending that you understand something when you don’t, just raise your hand and ask a question,” she says.
The former First Lady understands that having a growth mindset is the hallmark of being a strong leader. Even on the world’s largest stage, she doesn’t shy away from speaking her truth – even if it means admitting she doesn’t have all the answers. It’s not about how much you know. It’s about how open and accessible you are.
And this brings me to my next point…
There is a ton of controversy surrounding humility in leadership. Some leaders equate humility with weakness, and believe that if they reveal their shortcomings, it will lessen their credibility. On the contrary, others believe you need to share your perspectives publicly in order to receive valuable feedback and spark meaningful dialogue.
To the leaders in the first group, ask yourselves: If you don’t practice humility and admit when you don’t know something, how do you expect to learn and grow? How do you expect to connect with others if you aren’t humble?
As a leader, humility is vital to building trust, and to build trust you need to let your guard down and show people who you really are.
Let go of your need to be right
Always welcome new insights and points of view. There’s always more to learn. By opening your mind to diverse perspectives, you will be able to expand your way of thinking and in doing so, contribute to the world in a more meaningful way.
If you’re afraid to make mistakes, you’ll also stop taking risks, and challenging yourself. This will prevent you from stepping into your potential. Believe it or not, mistakes actually make you smarter. Intelligence grows through effort, and mistakes are learning opportunities that take you to the next level.
If you want to adopt a growth mindset, ask yourself this one important question: “Am I trying to learn in this moment or am I trying to get my point across?”
Looking for help developing a growth mindset during these challenging times? Reach out today to see if our virtual coaching program is right for you!