27 September 2023

Moving mountains: Is it possible to communicate inspiration?

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While successful leaders almost all have a growth mindset for their organisations, John Eades* says the trick is passing on that quality to their teams.

Whether in business, athletics or any other field, achieving success doesn’t come from natural ability and intelligence alone.

It comes from having a growth mindset.

Growth-minded individuals are constantly looking for ways to get a little better than they were yesterday.

They aren’t afraid to take risks or put in the extra effort to become better and achieve their desired results.

For successful business leaders, a growth mindset often comes naturally, with attributes like persistence, diligence and the belief that you can always find ways to improve providing a powerful drive.

For an organisation to succeed, leaders need to instil this growth mindset in their employees as well.

Inspiring others isn’t always easy, particularly if your employees believe that their talent level and output are fixed.

However, it is far from impossible. Here’s how.

Don’t worry about your own status.

Even if you think of yourself as a growth-minded individual, you could still accidentally be creating a fixed-mindset workplace because of the way you treat others.

Motivation researcher and author, Carol Dweck says managers should ask themselves some key questions about how they lead.

How do you act toward others in your workplace?

Are you a fixed-mindset boss, focused on your power more than on your employees’ well-being?

Do you ever reaffirm your status by demeaning others?

Do you ever try to hold back high-performing employees because they threaten you?

The goal of a growth mindset is to help everyone learn and achieve more together.

You shouldn’t be trying to hog all the learning and praise to yourself.

Make sure that you are a learning resource and coach, rather than an authoritarian boss obsessed with a strong image.

Instil and promote courage.

Psychologist, Abraham Maslow said: “Every day we can step into growth with courage or retreat into safety.”

The key word here is courage.

Without people being willing to step out and do something when they are scared, it’s almost impossible to have a growth mindset.

Turns out that’s something you help people develop.

Author of Actualised Leadership, Will Sparks said the following on the Follow My Lead Podcast:

“It’s the person’s responsibility of whether or not they will take growth steps.

You can’t claim the outcome, but you can coach and encourage them.”

Helping your employees have courage isn’t easy but using empathy to put yourself in their shoes and understand where they are on their journey is the first step.

Once you use empathy, do your best to help them see the cost of not being courageous.

Promote personal growth.

You should actively encourage your team members to seek learning on their own and get a little bit better each day.

A great way to do this is by setting goals.

Chief Executive of PVcase, David Trainavicius says strong goals should always promote a growth mindset.

“You should encourage team members to set their own personal goals in addition to the goals you have as a Department or team,” he says.

Encouraging employees to commit to their own personal growth and giving them opportunities to develop these skills will pay big dividends.”

Mr Trainavicius’s efforts at establishing a growth mindset have helped his company achieve astounding results.

To date, thanks to his employees’ efforts, more than 100 PV engineers use the company’s software in Europe, Australia and the United States.

Hire from within your organisation.

You need to prove to your employees that your efforts to promote a growth mindset are more than just lip service.

A 2018 workforce activity study by Global Talent Monitor found that 40 per cent of employees who left their job cited lack of career development as a primary motivator for quitting.

Executives must consider how their actions — especially hiring practices — reflect on their commitment to career development and a growth mindset.

When new positions open up, consider hiring from within.

Helping your employees adopt a growth mindset isn’t always easy.

Doing so could make all the difference for the long-term output of your team.

As you help others within your organisation adopt this mindset, they will be better positioned to provide meaningful contributions.

*John Eades is the Chief Executive of LearnLoft and author of F.M.L. Standing Out and Being a Leader. He is also the host of the Follow My Lead Podcast. He can be followed on instagram @johngeades.

This article first appeared on John’s LearnLoft blog.

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