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“I can’t ….”
“I’m an anxious person.”
“I’m bad with numbers.”
“I don’t understand the technical stuff; it’s just not for me!”
Sound familiar? These are the limiting beliefs of someone stuck in what Dr. Carol Dweck, Stanford University psychologist and author of Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success, termed “fixed mindset.”
If you’re in the “fixed mindset” camp, you most likely avoid challenges, don’t like failure (flag! can be prone to sandbag), ignore feedback, and believe you’re stuck with what you’ve got: your intelligence, talents, and abilities.
You’re simply what you are.
People in this camp often rely on talent alone and will spend time looking for praise and recognition vs building on past successes, seeing the silver lining in failures, and getting better.
If you say out loud that you’ll never understand the technical stuff … your team will believe it and more importantly, YOU will believe it. The opportunity to learn will end there. The very language we use to describe our limitations makes those limitations a reality.
This can be especially limiting when it comes to doing things out of your comfort zone.
The mindset you have will likely how you react when you’re out of your comfort zone.
To keep it simple, there are likely only three directions you’ll gravitate towards when you’re out of your comfort zone:
This is where a “growth mindset” comes in.
You want to find space between the trigger and your response (i.e. fleeing, fighting or freezing) where you can plant your feet firmly on the ground, step into the chaos, and try to learn from the difficult situation.
If you’re in the “growth mindset” camp, you believe your intelligence, talents, and abilities can grow through Grit & Perseverance (a Tessian value!).
What you’re born with is just the foundation, which cultivates an insatiable desire in you to continue learning and improving.
In the last year, we created a Global Leadership Team (GLT) to help our people work on personal and leadership growth.
Our GLT is comprised of 25 leaders across Tessian who meet monthly with the sole aim of developing their leadership skills. One of our core focuses this year has been developing a “Growth Mindset”.
We focused on growth mindset because an essential part of scaling a hyper-growth start-up is building a culture where your people are unafraid to set moonshot goals.
But to set these ambitious moonshot goals, we also need to be comfortable with failing fast, iterating, and continuing to build. As Simon Sinek says “What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.”
At Tessian we want to change the world of cybersecurity.
During our GLT sessions on growth mindset, our biggest takeaway was that we need to change how we view our failures. This change of mindset takes time, but we’ve already begun relishing in challenges, because mistakes and setbacks aren’t a reflection on us — just on our preparation and current ability, which are adaptable. We can grow!
We’re creating a culture where our leaders are open to feedback, accountable for their own growth, and resilient to take on new challenges — we are seeing the impact of this with increased creativity, innovation, and bottom-line growth.
So, how can you adopt a growth mindset?
Here are three of the core “growth mindset” tenants we implemented:
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