Dweck (2006) descried two different views of intelligence. The previous view is that there is a fixed intelligence that can be measured using an IQ Test. No matter how much you learn, or how hard you work, your intelligence stays the same. Her view of intelligence is that the brain is malleable: it is like a muscle that can get stronger and work better as you learn and stretch yourself. Over time, you can get smarter. This leads to two contrasting views of mindset, fixed and growth:
Fixed MindsetPeople with a Fixed Mindset believe that the abilities and capabilities they have are fixed traits. Their intelligence is set, they are talented at certain things and not others. They believe that it is whether or not someone is talented at something is what allows them to be successful at something or not. Intelligence is fixed and can be measured.
Growth MindsetPeople with a Growth Mindset believe that their intelligence, and abilities can be developed and grow. Through hard work, dedication and time, people can learn new talents, learn new things and become more intelligent. Teaching a growth mindset encourages learning, develops relationships and self efficacy.The brain is malleable, it can grow, stretch and expand. The harder you work, the more you can learn.
If you want to include the role of growth mindset in your leadership assignments, you might consider some of these ideas.
Growth mindset in a leadership context comes from a belief that those we lead can be motivated to improve and grow their practices. This choice usually involves including many stakeholders in decision-making, over-communicating the vision, mission, and goals, building shared values, and providing specific, targeted, timely feedback. Dweck (2006) reports on a number of studies of CEOs that suggest that CEOs with a fixed mindest, who believe in natural talent rather than growth, are less successful over the longer term than growth mindset CEOs, even if the former can achieve short term success.
A Growth-Minded [Leadership] Choice (Diehl, 2013) might be one that:
Validates and addresses staffs fears and barriers
Communicates the vision explicitly
Provides support to those who lack knowledge or skills
Creates an opportunity to share research and information
Allows everyone access to growth opportunities
Shares the work load among all staff
An Oracle blog post (Oracle, 2015) suggests that leadership is all about the willingness to grow and change and to help your people do the same. The Harvard Business Review (2014) suggests that organizations focused on employees’ capacity for growth will experience significant advantages.