Business: Mindset and Leadership

Genius is not enough; we need to get the job done

We can find a lot of examples of fixed and growth mindset CEOs of the biggest companies and how it reflected on leading their businesses. Nowadays, the impact of a generation raised on praise and the boosting of self-esteem on the leading of companies is big.

Enron is an example of how easy it can be to put people in the fixed mindset. Enron recruited only big talents, people who graduated from the best universities. Then paid big salaries. This is not bad in itself, but it created an environment where the most important thing was to look and act extraordinarily talented.

In the fixed, mindset world some people are superior over others. Fixed, mindset leaders very often use the company to raise their self-esteem. Sometimes it happens that they prefer to set the company up to fail, rather than see that other people can lead it better. They are bosses not leaders.

Bosses, by controlling and being abusive, can put the entire company into a fixed mindset. Everyone starts feeling that they are judged. In such places, people are afraid of taking the risk, of changes, of losing their position.

In contrast, growth, mindset CEOs are holding debates with employees, asking questions, rather than impressing the board of directors. They are not concerned about measuring or protecting their image, they appreciate feedback and learn from their mistakes. Very often they didn’t plan to be the leader, but by doing what they loved with enthusiasm and passion they went to the top. Talking about those achievements, they prefer using “we” instead of “I”. They believe in self-development and training. The best managers are made not born.

Creating a growth-mindset environment involves:

- showing skills as something learnable

- convincing people that a company values learning and effort, not a just ready-made genius

- giving constructive feedback that motivates

- presenting managers as resources for learning.

Actions to take

Principles to follow