Why Your Mindset Matters at Work and Life

Pensive woman got the right mindset for business

Why Your Mindset Matters at Work and Life

“Your mindset plays a dramatic role in your success at work and in life.”

In season 24 episode 8, we give you some insight into why your mindset is so important in your work and life.

Are leaders born or made? I highlighted the research done by Leadership Quarterly in Building the Best which exposed leaders aren’t born but instead use a combination of genetics and development.  For many people, this is a major change in thinking, but it’s the only way to think if you are going to get better from a leadership perspective or for that matter, anything.

The development of leadership skills isn’t all about just reading a book or practicing the concepts within it over the rest of your career.  Instead, the most important factor if you want to improve is the brain and how you think. It could be summarized as having a growth mindset. The growth mindset theory was brought to prominence by Carol S. Dweck, a Stanford Psychology professor, and in simple terms, it suggests that “we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and solve problems.” 

Which poses the question, what’s the difference between a growth and a fixed mindset?

Fixed vs. growth mindset

The differences between a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset are stark. At the simplest form, a fixed mindset believes intelligence is static or something you are born with where a growth mindset believes it can be developed.

Mindset fuels company growth as well

In recent years the idea of a growth mindset has been credited with helping Satya Nadella turn around Microsoft. Starting in 2014 when Nadella became CEO, he encouraged the entire company to adopt a growth mindset. They have gone as far as evaluating employees’ performance-based partly on how much they help their colleagues succeed.

While Microsoft is on the cutting edge of using mindset to fuel growth, they aren’t alone. They are a working case study to help other companies adopt a similar approach to compete in today’s business world.

How you can adopt a growth mindset

If you’re ready to adopt a growth mindset for yourself or to pass onto your people, wrap your heart and mind that your mind is never a finished product.  Not only will you deal with failure more effectively but you will be growing in a positive way every day rather than being in neutral or going backward.

We are all born with unique DNA. I started with a different makeup than you did.  It might be easier for me to handle pressure than it is for you because of my DNA. But you can still learn how to handle pressure effectively. You might have been born with better leadership DNA than I did but I can still learn how to be a more effective leader.

Unfortunately, the majority of professionals fall into the category of having a fixed mindset over a growth mindset.  They fall into the trap of believing that talent wins every time and they were either born with the ability to get the job done or they aren’t.  

If you find yourself in this position, focus on a pattern of what behavior when growth happens; it’s what I call AOL, an acronym that stands for action, outcome, learning. 


Take action about things you believe you can’t do. Once you take action there will be an outcome as a result and regardless of the result being positive or negative, you get the opportunity to learn from it. this will allow you grow and get better the next time you take the action.

Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? What have you done to successfully make the leap?

Join the Next Ultimate Leadership Academy If you are ready to elevate the way you lead, join the next virtual Ultimate Leadership Academy.

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. He is currently booking events and speaking engagements for 2020. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.