Leaders need a ‘learning mindset’

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Put simply, a ‘learning mindset’ is the humble acceptance that you weren’t born with all of the personal attributes and skills to succeed for the rest of your life. Great leaders seek to understand themselves better, integrate new tools and skills, and listen to feedback. Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck calls this attitude of continuous learning a ‘growth mindset’.

Growth-mindset firms have happier employees and a more innovative, risk-taking culture. (Harvard Business Review, 2014)

In my work with leaders and teams, I’ve noticed that successful people have courage to:

  • Listen to learn. When you listen to what your customers, suppliers, and business partners say about you, blind spots become opportunities for improvement. Ask for feedback regularly.
  • Know when to call it quits. Flagging initiatives are a drain on your and your organisation’s resources. Not all great ideas continue to turn out great services
  • Use others’ ideas (and give them credit). Feeling overstretched? Trust the team to do the work. Groups outperform individuals when they feel responsible for coming up with ideas and solving problems.

Find Out More

Interested in how being a ‘Learning Leader’ helps your organisation succeed? Contact me to find out how.


Dweck, C. (2006) Mindset: changing the way you think to fulfil your potential. Constable & Robinson Ltd.

Dweck, C. (2014). Talent: how companies can profit from a ‘growth mindset. Harvard Business Review:, 92(11): 28-29.

Zaman, Z. (2016). Instilling a growth mindset to drive innovation. Rotman Management: 36-37.