Growth mindset is a super power. It means you can become better and grow as a person. It is one of the best attributes of a leader. It means leaders believe in others, it means they can help their team to grow and push themselves consistently.
Everyone has leadership ability, you grow as a leader when you take greater responsibility, contribute and push yourself. Here’s a look at the amazing leadership habits to unlock the best.
1. Realising Team Potential
“Just try to be the best you can be; never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s in your power.”
No matter what your profession, when you do your best, you grow & realise your highest potential. A top leader inculcates the right spirit in the team where everyone in the team strives towards their best.
A growth mindset leader builds a team that is geared for high quality performances with consistency. The leader promotes learning of individuals, feedback driven processes and synergises the group towards shared goals.
A growth mindset requires people in the organisation to learn self evaluation, understand their performance and be team players. Teams must be driven to reinvent themselves to do whatever it takes to succeed.
2. High Standards & Aspirations
As a leader, it is important to make your team aligned with the core values of your organisation. They should know what is expected of them and your organisational aspirations.
“Measurement against a standard makes you think through WHY the results were what they were.”
A growth mindset leader works with his team to set the standards. They make their expectations clear, people know what they need to do & how their work will be evaluated.
Great leaders make people push their boundaries of excellence all the time. But they also have a realistic way to understand, analyse and reward the performance of their teams.
3. Grow & Develop Your Team
You only become a leader, when you have the ability to grow and develop your people. The onus is on the leaders to nurture their teams so that they can continually raise their standards and develop themselves according to the situation.
A leader needs to identify leaders and groom them for future. Personal development and growth of their teams rank high on agenda for top leaders.
If you push yourself to improve 1% on a daily basis, you can improve more than 30% in a month. This is huge. When you can improve consistently, you prepare yourself to beat others.
For e.g. in a organisation of 20 people, the skills required for a manager would be totally different than skills needed in a 500 person company. Leaders need to help people understand what is needed of them to deliver the goods. They have to encourage people to build skills for growing as per the organisational demands.
4. Align Efforts & Time
Growth mindset leaders take pride in commitment, efforts and ongoing improvements of individuals. They help the team to identify the key priorities so that teams involve time in fruitful activities.
Time and efforts invested into the right projects, tasks and activities can help people grow. When goals are well defined, deliverables prioritised and expectations clarified, it helps the team achieve great results. The team knows how their efforts and time are correlated to their success.
5. Ownership & Autonomy
Leaders build a team of leaders not followers. They work with people and provide them room for growth. They do not micro manage, but simply point the areas for improvement. They give the team freedom to explore ways to achieve their goals.
“My role has been to pick good people, and give them the maximum authority and responsibility.”
Leaders choose the right people on their team. Once they have the right people on board, they give them freedom to take control, have a sense of ownership & accountability.
6. Embrace Change
Change is the only constant in the world of leadership. Leaders need to ensure that they are able to transition proactively before they are forced to. The top leaders are able to inculcate progressive mindset in their organisational structures, which promotes forward thinking.
Top leaders prepare their teams for action. They make the most of their experiments, efforts and work. They are proactive in dealing with change and translate learnings into action.
A growth mindset leader knows that it doesn’t help the team to get stuck in a rut. They have to find ways to learn things fast, embrace changes and keep moving forward at pace. It gives them competitive advantage, helps their teams innovate and stay ahead of their peers.
7. Eliminate Hurdles
Great leaders understand that people need a good environment to work & grow. They understand, encourage and provide support to their teams for doing great work. Leaders eliminate hurdles and roadblocks that affect their teams.
A growth mindset leader backs people even when they fail. They focus their teams attention on learning, growth and consistent improvements. They work with them and enable their team to overcome problems to succeed.
Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar communications, which was later acquired by Disney for $7.4 billion. Pixar created the first computer animation movie and went on to deliver several successive hits. The company was later acquired by Disney, Jobs was its chairman at the time. Ed Catmull said, “My job as a manager is to create a fertile environment, keep it healthy, and watch for the things that undermine it.”
8. Candid Feedback
Honest and brutal feedback is essential for growth of a person. It can point in areas where one needs improvement. A growth mindset leader establishes a good rapport with his team and gives them feedback.
The feedback loop helps a person evaluate things objectively. It is the job of a leader to make the team understand that it is the criticism of work, not the person. There is nothing personal about negative or critical feedback. It is simply a means to improve, no blame or finger pointing.
A growth mindset leader works with his team to incorporate with his team a culture of trust. They set the tone, expectations and provide invaluable feedback to everyone on their team with good intentions. It is the progress that counts.
9. Praise & Appreciate
Every person wants to feel appreciated and praised. However, growth mindset leaders understand that it is the process not just results that are helpful in building winning teams.
The growth mindset leaders recognize the value of efforts, hardwork and processes in getting the right results. These leaders use the power of appreciation to set the tone for the team. The behaviour that gets rewarded gets repeated.
10. Lead by Learning
“Leadership is no longer hierarchical – it needs participation, involvement and contribution from everyone.”
Leaders with a growth mindset know that they don’t know everything. They need to learn, reskill and stay connected with reality. They devote time for learning skills to manage others effectively.
The top leaders today understand the value of the bottom up approach for their organisations. They value inputs from those working on the problems hands on.
Toyota car production is a brilliant example that illustrates the bottom up approach. Toyota incorporation uses inputs from its front line workers to improve its operations. They use these inputs to improve the quality of their production. Growth mindset leaders know how to unleash maximum value using learning as a tool for improvement.