How to Become a Growth Mindset Leader

A few years back, I remember the frustration of posting all of my goals for business and personal achievements only to realize I failed miserably to reach and attain them. “Why,” I thought? I had definitely put in the effort and took the time to clearly define each goal, I simply did not achieve them.

The reason? That year, I failed to grow as a leader of impact. I became goal-focused rather than growth-focused. There’s a big difference between the two. You see, for me, it’s easier to set goals than to master the skills necessary to reach them.

True growth and success requires change and development. It also requires stretching. If I’m totally and brutally honest, I slipped into a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset, and that is why I did not achieve the goals I set that year.

I still post my goals and encourage all of my Executive Leadership Coaching clients to do the same. But I now challenge myself (and my clients) to put in equal effort to be a growth mindset leader. If you want to be an extraordinary influencer, create positive impact for your company, and inspire others by your performance and goal seizing, be a growth mindset leader!

A fixed mindset leader:

  • Becomes static and fails to change and grow
  • Avoids challenges and slips into comfort zones
  • Never really pushes through quitting points
  • Ignores and resists constructive feedback
  • Feels threatened when others succeed
  • Sets safe goals rather than stretch goals (both personally and professionally)

A growth mindset leader:

  • Believes leadership and influence are forever expanding
  • Embraces challenges with an inspired vision
  • Pushes through quitting points and practices resiliency and optimism
  • Sees daily efforts as a path to renewed success
  • Finds best practices and inspiration in the success of others
  • Believes in abundance and resists scarcity thoughts
  • Reaches higher levels of achievement through stretch goals

My eight year old Grandson, Cruz asked to race my car and wanted to see how fast he was going. “Miles per hour. I want to go really fast, Pops!” He exclaimed. I smiled with pride and much joy thinking to myself, “When was the last time I stretched myself and went really fast?”

I had a wonderful Pastor who mentored me as a young man. I remember sitting in his office and listening to his wisdom as he shared, “Steve, there are no short cuts to any place worth going.” That statement stuck with me all these years. A growth mindset thrives on challenges and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard.

Distractions, social media/technology, and comparing ourselves to others will rob you of growing and stretching if you get too consumed in it. I encourage you to write out two to three new objectives around your (new) growth mindset. Set a timeline and you will reach those goals as you focus on professional and personal growth.

Here’s to your growth mindset!

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.