Instinctively we like growth. We like the mental pictures it builds in our minds.
In business, growth is good, right? The Western world is built on a premise of growth for shareholders, who want to see ever-increasing returns on their investment.
But what IS growth? Is it growth in profit, in cash, in turnover? Or is it something deeper – is it growth in your people, or in you personally? Sometimes what we’re actually looking for is a growth mentality or a growth mindset.
Every day we see people without that growth mindset, who are happy with the status quo, who don’t want to step outside boundaries, who are quite content in their self-imposed limitations.
And every day we also see the opposite – we see people who are not afraid to step into the unknown, to move beyond their comfort zones, to stretch to achieve.
When we or our teams grow, we learn something different. We apply new skills and see new outcomes. We reach further than we’ve reached before - and we move beyond expectations.
And here’s the difference – those with a growth mindset are happy to start the race not knowing whether they’ll finish it.
Those without a growth mindset will only start a race they know they can finish which, on the one hand, seems a wise strategy. After all, why waste time and energy on something which might result in failure? Especially when there are shorter, safer races to run.
But in the process of only running safe races, they stifle their potential and limit their growth.
And their sense of achievement is also much lower. After all, entering into an undertaking knowing it’ll be achieved can result in some satisfaction. But only some.
Consider instead the joy of completing a new task, developing a new skill, stretching oneself to achieve something different. Going further than one has ever gone before MUST yield a higher sense of achievement and satisfaction.
So with your teams, lowering the expectations bar must be tempting. But we shouldn’t be shy of stretching people in order to help them find a higher sense of achievement.
We need a mix of people to build great teams – those with a growth mindset will be those who push your firm to a place it may not otherwise have reached.