Growth Mindset: The Must Have for Great Leaders

By Debra Kunz, Executive Coach and Founder, Center for Deliberate Growth®

There isn’t really a clear antonym for Growth Mindset: Status quo mindset? Default mindset? Staying in your comfort zone?

It’s easy to settle into routines and familiar ways of thinking, and then feel stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of breaking out of them. It doesn’t help that naysayers will tell you not to bother and stick with the status quo.

Combined, this is why people stay in their default mindset. It’s less about worrying over making a splash when you dive into the pool, but more a question of wondering how deep it is. Will you quickly hit the bottom and get injured, dive too deep and be unable to come back up, or have just the right amount of depth to get the best swim of your life?

If you’re looking for ways to become a better leader, advance your career, expand a business, or multiply opportunities for your people, a willingness to do things differently is the first step.

Because the truth is that no one grows when they are tucked safely into their comfort zone. And, if you aren’t growing and learning new things about yourself and how to lead a company, how do you expect that the business will grow?

A Growth Mindset Integrates:

  1. Looking ahead. Defining clear goals gives you, and your teams, a unified and focused purpose.
  2. Doing things differently. You might be able to continue doing things that brought you to this point, though having a method to distinguish between what to keep doing, what to start doing, and what to stop doing is key.
  3. Making mistakes. Perfection is not synonymous with a Growth Mindset, the pursuit of excellence is. Excellence invites innovation and accepts errors.
  4. Understanding how you make decisions. Leaders make hundreds of decisions daily. And, it’s not just you. Every day decisions are made by each member of your team that impact whether the business growth you defined will become a reality.

The Ripple Effect of Your Growth Mindset

The Leader’s Growth Mindset is integral to your professional success because it makes you unafraid to tread unknown depths in search of bigger rewards and fulfillment. And, it includes spreading that empowerment to others.

In short, if you are continuously expanding your perspective and understanding how you make decisions, you learn to lead-easier™.  That educated perspective translates into how you fuel performance within the business. Your teams will feel how you are developing yourself and empowering them in the process.

Case Study – Growth Mindset in Action

Whether you are a corporate leader or a business owner, this scenario might seem familiar. Listen to her situation as you read this example, with less focus on the specifics of her particular business role.

One of my clients is an executive leader with 285 people who report up through her. Even with 30 years of experience, she engaged me as her Leadership Coach to advance her skills to the ‘next level’ and elevate her career, all in conjunction with raising the fulfillment of her employees.

She was surprised to discover that it was her wobbly confidence that held her back. As our work together continued, her direct reports noticed her new confidence. One stopped her in the hallway to share a compliment on her new energy and decisiveness. She started to notice that the energy in staff meetings was more grounded, and the discussions held a more productive purpose.

As a result of understanding the blind spots she had about how she was thinking about herself, and how that impacted the way she led, she committed to instilling a Growth Mindset. With 30% more confidence (her assessment of herself), in one instance, she calculated that she saved the business $750,000 with one bold decision. She is now on track for a prestigious promotion where she’ll run the entire division. I am so excited for her!                                                                            

Upcoming Webinar

A Growth Mindset is an essential element that plays into achieving your desired results. During my webinar with IAW on February 19th, I’ll be sharing the crucial decisions that create intentional growth and will utilize case studies to help you better understand how you can foster a Growth Mindset and create intentional growth as a leader. Register here

About the speaker

Debra Kunz is an Award-Winning Executive Coach and Business Performance Consultant, and the Founder of the Center for Deliberate Growth®.

She specializes in practical leadership and performance strategies that unlock prosperous results at an intentional pace. A dynamic speaker, Debra’s interactive programs motivate and energize audiences to think differently about how they can impact their results, and understand the measurable value of strategic leadership and performance solutions. 

Leveraging her 25+ years of experience, Debra’s results focus on creating a cohesive leadership team, elevating effective and efficient productivity, developing middle managers, evolving new leaders, maximizing teamwork, generating revenue and profitability breakthroughs, and proactively moving companies forward. 

Debra received a 2019 Stevie Award for Company of the Year – Business Services at the International Women in Business Gala in New York City in November. She’s also been honored with the Excellence in Practice Award for ‘Coaching and Mentoring’ from the Association for Talent Development, named Women Business Advocate of the Year by the Kansas Department of Commerce, and an Inspirational Influencer by the International Association of Women, Kansas City. She holds an MBA, plus a bachelor’s in marketing, and four coaching certifications including the unique Coaching with ROI. 

In addition to asking just the right questions and getting to the heart of the matter, Debra is a passionate believer that when good people come together, teamwork can solve many challenges and create multiple opportunities.

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