Individuals, teams and entire organizations adapt, grow, and prepare for future challenges. As a result, they have grown bigger minds for solving bigger problems. Serious change demands serious people.
The four most important skills needed by organizations — leading people, strategic planning, inspiring commitment and managing change — are among the weakest competencies for today’s leaders. Furthermore, the nature of effective leadership is changing. Flexibility, collaboration, crossing boundaries and collective leadership are new additions to the game.
Executives are who and what they are because they are high achievers. Still, some stagnate.
Carol Dweck, PhD, in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” discovered that our mindset creates our whole mental overview and determines whether we become optimistic or pessimistic.
With an open mindset, people are confident. They accept criticism as important feedback. They know their talents can be developed. This is the path of success.
With a closed mindset on the other hand, people believe success is based on their innate talents. This is the path to stagnation. These people want to be right and do not show interest in feedback.
Jim Collins, in his book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t” writes, “The type of leader who takes companies to greatness are those who constantly ask questions and have the ability to control brutal answers.”
There is however a cure for closed mindset. It requires practice and vigilance, and willingness to be open to learning and changing.
The following can be good practices:
- Ask for help as needed.
- Have a growth-oriented plan.
- Focus on little improvements overtime.
- Don’t be afraid to try.
- Remind yourself there are no failures, only lessons.
- Learn to bounce back.
- Give yourself time.
- Build on what you know.
- Have a learning approach.
One of the characteristics of becoming an Executive in high performance organizations is the lack of fear of failure — the willingness to step outside that comfort zone and try new things. The core of being an Executive is decision making. Executives have the final say in their area of the organization.
Executives must think vertically, horizontally and through time. They should pay attention along the way. They should recognize how everything interacts. They think long term, short term, and every term in between.
The culture of growth or open mindset comes from the top in every organization. Change can be tough, but it’s worth it!