4 Sets of Distinct Leadership Mindsets

Much has been written about the importance of Mindset – having the right mindset can give Leaders a competitive advantage. We’ve all come across Leaders who had Great Success with seemingly very different mindsets. Different attitudes, dispositions or approaches to leading, dealing with challenges or opportunities. This article reiterates the fact that Great Leaders need The Right Mindset.

According to the authors – “Mindsets are leaders’ mental lenses that dictate what information they take in and use to make sense of and navigate the situations they encounter. Simply, mindsets drive what leaders do and why”.

I wonder though, what is the Right Mindset?

Below is a brief synopsis of the 4 sets of mindsets, outlined in the article. As organizations prioritize mindset development, there are clearly benefits in specifically by targeting growth, learning, deliberative, and promotion mindsets.

  • Growth and Fixed Mindsets. A growth mindset is a belief that people, including oneself, can change their talents, abilities, and intelligence. Conversely, those with a fixed mindset do not believe that people can change their talents abilities and intelligence. Decades of research have found that those with a growth mindset are more mentally primed to approach and take on challenges, take advantage of feedback, adopt the most effective problem-solving strategies, provide developmental feedback to subordinates, and be effortful and persistent in seeking to accomplish goals.
  • Learning and Performance Mindsets. A learning mindset involves being motivated toward increasing one’s competence and mastering something new. A performance mindset involves being motivated toward gaining favorable judgements (or avoiding negative judgements) about one’s competence. Leaders with a learning mindset, compared to those with a performance mindset, are more mentally primed to increase their competence, engage in deep-level learning strategies, seek out feedback, and exert more of an effort. They are also persistent, adaptable, willing to cooperate, and tend to perform at a higher level.
  • Deliberative and Implemental Mindsets. Leaders with a deliberative mindset have a heightened receptiveness to all kinds of information as a way to ensure that they think and act as optimally as possible. Leaders with an implemental mindset, as the name suggests, are more focused on implementing decisions, which closes them off to new and different ideas and information. Comparing the two, leaders with deliberative mindsets tend to make better decisions because they are more impartial, more accurate, and less biased in their processing and decision making.
  • Promotion and Prevention Mindsets. Leaders with a promotion mindset are focused on winning and gains. They identify a specific purpose, goal, or destination and prioritize making progress toward it. Leaders with a prevention mindset, however, are focused on avoiding losses and preventing problems at all costs. Research has found that those with a promotion mindset are more prone to positive thinking, more open to change, more likely to persist despite challenges and setbacks, and demonstrate higher levels of task performance and innovative behaviors compared to leaders with a prevention mindset.

I do wonder whether some of these mindsets are really distinct? I’ve certainly come across Leaders who maintain a Learning & Performance mindset, often in equal measure. I have certainly engaged in oscillated between being deliberative and implemental during different phases of my career. Perhaps different circumstances may warrant specific mindset shifts?

I do believe that maintaining a foundational Learning Mindset in all circumstances is an essential quality of Great Leaders

Full Article Here: https://hbr.org/2020/01/to-be-a-great-leader-you-need-the-right-mindset

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