Wayne Brophy

Jul 21, 2021

Why Leadership Candidates Should Have A Learning Mindset


There are plenty of skills that make up a fantastic leader, and one that’s always pointed out is a growth mindset. Whilst we certainly don’t disagree with this – in fact, our recent webinar ‘What now? Building high performing leadership teams’ revealed how essential a focus on growth is – we do think that a learning mindset isn’t given enough credit. During the webinar, Pete Lowe, Leadership Consultant and Author of ‘The Language of Winning’, honed in on how it takes a learning mindset to lead. So we wanted to dig a bit deeper into the matter, and highlight exactly why leadership candidates need this important skill.

The difference between a learning and growth mindset

While these mindsets are different, they aren’t necessarily at polar ends of the spectrum. Through a growth mindset you see intelligence as infinite, and want to continuously master new skills. If you see knowledge as something with a limit, then you have what’s called a ‘fixed mindset’, and unfortunately, adopting this is easier than you think. Sometimes leaders struggle and accept failure as something they can't improve upon. But failure can be seen as an opportunity to succeed, if you choose to learn from it.

The importance of a learning mindset

A significant amount of Pete Lowe's expertise came from his 13 years as Head of Education and Performance Management for Manchester City Football Club. Prior to him starting this position, the club hadn't taken a trophy home for 40 years. Then, it became great. And that was all thanks to a learning mindset. This did require a change in tone at the top. After all, leaders create leaders. Others need to be able to pick up the mantle and run with it, and you need to ensure this learning environment exists. Team members should also be able to challenge each other where appropriate. There are always better ways of doing things, and alternative ideas worth listening to. People need to be given the opportunity to be innovative and show their potential.

Take the next step

So, whether you're a business looking for leadership talent, or a candidate with the right abilities, you're sure to benefit from our whitepaper 'Is Speed Your Currency? How To Build High-Performing Agile Leadership Teams'. Amongst the insights is an exploration of the soft skills required of high-performing leaders, plus guidance on how to recruit, train, and develop your future superstars. The whitepaper will be released soon. In the meantime, you can watch our webinar, which dives into these topics, here.

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