As a Network Marketer and a leader, it is critical for you to know if you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset!
Do you know your mindset?
I suddenly stopped,
confused by the fact that these huge creatures
being held by only a small rope tied to their front
leg. No chains,
no cages. It was obvious that the
elephants could, at anytime, break away
from the ropes
they were tied to but for some reason, they did not.I saw a trainer near by and asked why these beautiful,
magnificent animals just
stood there and made no
attempt to get away.
“Well,” he said, “when
they are very young and much
smaller we use the same size rope to tie them
that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up,
conditioned to believe they cannot break
away. They believe the rope can
still hold them, so
they never try to break free.”
I was amazed. These
animals could at any time break
free from their bonds but because they
couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it before?
The universities in West Europe., invests heavily in equipping students with the knowledge and practical skills they need to succeed in the workplace. And indeed, it does a very good job of that. Less emphasis, however, is placed on developing leadership skills across the entire student body.
Looked at from that perspective, If you live in a culture where your colleagues believe you can be a leader and help you develop the skills you need, you will enthusiastically embrace the mantle of leadership. It might not be your goal to become a CEO or a top politician. But, regardless of your occupation, you will view yourself as a leader at home, at work, and in your community. But if you live in a culture that assumes leadership is not for everyone, is dependent on whether you have innate leadership skills, and that leadership is defined by your job title rather than your actions, you will have an entirely different view.
Unfortunately, that’s the culture that most of us live in, not just in Europe, but around the world.
Helpful Distinction to see if you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset
Recently I’ve enjoyed reading about the work of Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Her research explores and explains questions that have interested me for years as a leader. Essentially, she has found that people generally exhibit what she calls either growth mindsets or fixed mindsets. Those with growth mindsets believe they can get better at what they do, that they have reservoirs of untapped potential. They realize that promise by working hard and making incremental improvements over time, whether they are athletes, or writers, or surgeons.
Those with fixed mindsets, however, believe they can only go as far as their natural abilities will take them. They think talent, rather than hard work, is the fundamental component of success. They are often scared to challenge themselves because they are terribly afraid of failure—which, in their minds, is an indictment of their abilities rather than an opportunity to learn and do better next time.
First, how effectively are you managing your organization’s talent?
In the rush to get things done, especially during a severe recession, it’s tempting to single out your top 10% for development and forget about everyone else. But from the standpoint of a growth mindset, you’re letting a lot of potential throughout your organization go untouched.
Obviously, that’s not good for those men and women, many of whom probably crave opportunities to develop but are languishing instead. In the long run, it won’t be good for your organization’s leadership pipeline or your bottom line either.
Second, does your organizational culture permit risk taking and mistakes?
We of course don’t want the kind of egregious mistakes and completely irresponsible gambles that helped lead to our current economic crisis. But innovation does require making some strategic bets, some of which will pay off and some of which will fail. A growth mindset sees those failures as great opportunities to learn. When resources are tight, it’s natural to conserve them. But taking a defensive stance now might short-circuit your long-term efforts to move into new markets and develop new products. Many influential organizations, from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) to CNN, flourished because of bold moves made during tough times.
Finally, are you resting on your laurels as a leader?
It can be hard to stay hungry over time. The more experience you gain and the more successes you have, the more likely you are to believe there’s not much left to learn.
As a network marketer and as a leader leading a team, it is critical to keep a growth mindset, understanding that there is always new things to learn.
Make sure to surround yourself with people with a growth mindset, make sure to have a leader with a growth mindset, and most of all. Make sure you keep a growth mindset realizing that learning is growing.
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