You want to lead? Then Grow-Out!

By definition, mindset represents “the cognitive processes activated in response to a given task”. Translated to an everyday jargon, our mindset is our way of thinking, our own frame of mind. Knowing that how we think often dictates how we feel and even more importantly how we behave, one could say, without any exaggeration, that the impact of our mindset to our life is immense. 

Mindset- look at it as your favourite playlist

On the bright side, because our mind-set is nothing more or less than a certain playlist of your habitual, automatic go-to “songs”, you can always choose which songs to cut out or which new ones you’d like to add to your playlist. 

Now, why are we talking about mindset today? Because being a leader in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times requires you to have a certain kind of mindset that we have called the GROW-OUT mindset. 

Our GROW-OUT mindset lies on the principles of the amazing Carol Dweck and her brilliant work around the growth mindset in combination with the research done by the Arbinger Institute on their outward mindset. Our experience with working with young leaders tells us that to be a successful, congruent and daring leader today, you need both. 

The fundamental belief behind the Grow-Out mindset is that we are continuously learning and evolving and doing so with the focus on others (our team members, stakeholders, clients, friends and family). 

The pillars of the Grow-Out mindset:

Take your EGO outside of the equation.  

Yes, the very first and the most challenging step for most leaders is to put their ego aside. This is the path with no shortcuts because it involves growing your self-awareness to the point where you can catch yourself blaming others, being judgmental, spreading low morale, doubt, skepticism and criticism. This sort of mental junk does not serve you as a person nor does it serve anyone around you and it simply needs to go

Stop “What’s in it for me?” and start “What can I do to help the procurement / sales/ marketing reach their goal?” Why would you do that? For the greater and collective good! For the final outcome of getting the best result for everyone, not just you. See others and their needs and adjust your efforts to become more helpful. 

Be accountable for your thoughts, words and actions.

We were always taught to take accountability for our actions but here we are asking you to go deeper and take accountability for your thoughts as well. 

Why? Because people can sense when what you say & do is aligned with what you actually think. People can feel your intention. Therefore, “you cannot talk yourself out of a situation you behaved your way into to” (Arbinger Institute). Your thoughts need to be aligned with your words which will then lead to congruent actions. This is the only path to becoming an authentic leader. 

Encourage creativity & innovation.

Our creativity is our biggest asset now and especially in the near future driven by AI. Your drive as a leader should be to focus on learning and process (not only outcome), to accept failure and embrace mistakes as natural part of getting better. 

Trevor Ragan says: “growth happens at the point of resistance”. In the sports world that is the point ofthat extra rep, that game with an opponent that is way better then you.

In your case, it could be the problem you do not have the answer to or that moment when you realized you messed up and you are back to square one. Those are the real opportunities to grow yourself and your team.

Even better would be to purposefully create opportunities for learning within your organization.  Start small, with a low stake project and invite your team to be playful and think “outside of the box”. Start rewarding the most creative solutions as much as you reward the most efficient ones. Celebrate challenging situations as those are the ones that will make you and everyone around you grow. 

Move from Everyday Expert to Everyday Learner. Allow some space for Not Knowing and invite others to Grow-Out into that space.

Meet others where they are.  

Nothing we love more then to make assumptions about others; how they should behave, what they should be motivated by, how they should react in a certain situation…etc. Meeting others where they are means you need to stop making assumptions!! Yes, it means deleting this ugly mental shortcut and engage with people, move up close, ask questions, care. Brene Brown says it so beautifully in her book Braving the Wildernes:

“People are hard to hate close up. Move in.”

See others as people who matter just as much as you do. Take into account their needs, challenges, and objectives and if you are not sure what they are: ASK, DO NOT ASSUME! 

Our invitation today is to grow-out from your habitual self. Grow out from your usual self-focused, approval seeking self into a person that is stepping out of themselves and seeing others as people who matter, and not as objects that help you get from here to there.

If this invitation resonates with you, send us a hello and we can see together how we can help you grow-out.

hello@thebigc.nl

www.thebigc.nl


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