The Importance of Developing Your Leadership Mindset
Writing in Psychology Today, Dr. Jim Taylor defines mindset as, “the attitudes, beliefs, and expectations you hold that act as the foundation of what you are, how you lead, and the ways in which you interact with your team.”
He goes on in his article to explain, “Your mindset is so influential because it determines how you think about and interpret situations, your emotional reactions, the decisions you make, and the actions you take. Your mindset directly impacts the quality of your relationships, the interactions you have, and the way you lead. It also sets the tone for your organization and determines the kind of experiences your people have in their working lives.”
A leadership mindset thus is a core set of personal values upon which the leader’s behaviors, reactions, decisions, and actions are based. Your leadership mindset needs to be based on your beliefs and principles, how you view situations and people, your vision and the tenure range of that vision, and where you place your focus.
A mindset creates behaviors and thinking patterns. In her global bestseller Mindset: The Psychology of Success, psychologist Carol Dweck depicted a fixed mindset as one containing the beliefs that talent and abilities are innate, permanent, and resistant to effort. On the other hand, a belief that effort, learning from failure, and perseverance can improve performance was labeled by Dweck as a growth mindset.
Leaders with a fixed mindset end up demotivating their team members as their behaviors and thinking patterns end up breeding mistrust, stifling creativity, and creating a blame others culture. As a result, team members feel unappreciated by their leader and wind up with less commitment and higher disengagement.
Naturally, the growth mindset enhances individual and team performance through encouragement, motivation, and turning errors into learning opportunities.
Much like having your own personal leadership philosophy (see the earlier blog on Why You Need a Personal Leadership Philosophy), to become a great leader also requires the development of your own leadership mindset based on your own set of personal values and beliefs.
I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below!
This article is excerpted from my book Great Leadership Words of Wisdom, which is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats and has over 1000 quotes on leadership from global business leaders, statesmen, athletes, coaches, sages, and philosophers.