Mindset: The Difference Between Average and Exceptional

Mindset is pivotal for individuals and companies alike. As a CEO, stagnant sales can lead to frustration and doubt. Before making further changes, it's crucial to reflect and recalibrate.

You hear a lot of talk about mindset these days and with good reason. Mindset is key to making or breaking a person. And the same could be said for a company too. But let’s begin by defining just what mindset means.

Wikipedia tells us that a mindset is, “an established set of attitudes of a person or group concerning culture, values, philosophy, frame of mind, outlook, and disposition.” Mindset – Wikipedia

Let’s say you’re the CEO of a manufacturing or distribution company. Now your company isn’t doing bad per say, but you know that it could be better. You know you have a wonderful product but lately, in the last few quarters, your sales seem to be flat-lining.

At first, it doesn’t seem to be so bad. But as quarter after quarter goes by and the company is seeing the same thing continually happen, you are beginning to have concerns. You try making changes. Sometimes you’ll see a pop in sales, but more often no matter what you are doing, nothing seems to work.

As this occurs, it’s natural that you may begin to feel frustrated and doubt your performance. You might even find that as things look dismal, so too, does your overall attitude. It may even be that you are spending more time at the company and less on your personal life.

If you find yourself in this scenario, it’s time to take a step back, or take a deep breath and refocus. And before you keep trying to make tweaks to the business, stop and take a look within yourself.

What Mindset Do You Have?

Because there have been many people who have written on the topic of mindset, it’s good to do further exploration to see how it could help us in our above scenario.

In the Stanford Report for February 2024, Carol Dweck, Ph.D. discussed how there are two types of mindsets – “fixed” and “growth.” As you would suspect a person with a fixed mindset has a harder time changing to new ideas and procedures. While a person who exhibits a growth mindset displays the ability to change over time.

According to Dweck, a person with a fixed mindset displays qualities that are “unchangeable and may be less open to mistakes because setbacks are seen as inherent and impinging on future success.” While with a growth mindset a person is “more open to reflect, and willing learn and grow from challenges.” Your powerful, changeable mindset – Stanford Report

It’s clear (when thinking in terms of our above scenario) that our CEO may be leaning toward having a fixed mindset. If they continue down this path, the outcome will continue to be bleak.
However, we are not going to stop with only one or two definitions, because as you well know, there’s always more to the story.

Other Thoughts On Mindset

Let’s take a look at what an article from Psychology Today has to say about mindset. They believe there are four mindsets. In fact, this article states, “Each one of us has one overall mindset, but this mindset is made up of many smaller parts.” 4 Mindsets That Can Help You Succeed | Psychology Today

This seems to make more sense as it encompasses a more detailed definition of mindset. In fact, the article continues on by explaining the most beneficial mindsets include:

  • Growth mindset
  • Positive mindset
  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Challenge mindset

Each one of these mindsets, by the mere name alone, brings about feelings of a more confident mindset. For example, when examining each one alone you begin to see the benefits of confidence, clarity, yes, even calmness they exhibit. 4 Mindsets That Can Help You Succeed | Psychology Today

the growth mindset

The Growth Mindset

I don’t know about you, but the name alone evokes feelings of a person who has a solid work ethic. A person who is curious and willing to work harder. They are more open to innovative ideas, and to expand their current state. You might even say they exhibit flexibility in their thinking.

This type of person will not be afraid to take calculated risks. Why? Because they’re willing to attempt something new, especially if it brings about success. Typically this type of person sees the cup as half full. Overall this will be more beneficial to reaching the desired outcome they wish to see.
The Positive Mindset

Let’s face it. We all would rather hang around (and work with) a person with a positive mindset. Oftentimes, this type of individual will use words like, “ We can do it,” or “Let’s give it a shot.” Plus this type of person will display thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation for the way things go in their life.

A person with a positive mindset will undoubtedly be seen as someone with a sunny disposition. And like the person with a growth mindset has an optimistic outlook on where they are going

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

With successful entrepreneurs, you will typically see characteristics that display some of the above but also include flexibility or adaptability. They are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and lean into creativity.
If fact if these traits aren’t there, it’s a safe bet to say they won’t be in business for very long.

Entrepreneurs are self-starters, therefore need to have that positivity and curiosity to keep them moving forward. They understand what is at stake and are willing to take the risk to make it happen.

The Challenge Mindset

While at first glance this doesn’t seem to fit in with the above categories, with more explanation, I’m sure you’ll see the connections.

The word ‘challenge’ gives the clue that we are discussing performance situations. This can be applied in a variety of ways:

  • Athletics
  • Game-playing
  • Test-taking
  • Work tasks

Each of the above puts the individual into a competitive arena, metaphorically speaking. How well we perform can depend upon a variety of skills, knowledge, abilities, and yes, self-esteem. It’s good to mention here how this individual is driven to win.

So, if used properly, this type of mindset may be beneficial to a variety of situations within a company atmosphere. 4 Mindsets That Can Help You Succeed | Psychology Today

Cultivating A Mindset That Benefits You

Now that we’ve reviewed several types of mindsets, it becomes clear that a growth-oriented mindset approach can significantly advance personal and professional objectives. So, how can you adjust your mindset for better results? Especially if embracing change feels daunting.

But before we begin with the how-to of changing a mindset, take a moment and reflect on this sentence.
Where your attention goes…your energy flows. ~Tony Robbins

A person who wants to see change in their life, (and their company), needs to focus on the outcome they wish to see. Specifically focusing on the actions that lead to that desired change. When you have a crystalized goal laid out (i.e., the attention) then the energy will naturally flow there.

Step-by-Step Guide To Changing Your Mindset

  1. Set Clear Goals: Begin by outlining your ambitions. Whether it’s a one-year plan or a vision for the next decade, breaking down your goals into smaller units makes them more achievable.
  2. Surround Yourself with Positivity: Engage with peers who exhibit a positive outlook. Their energy can inspire you to adopt a similar attitude, transforming challenges into opportunities. When you do this it just makes life more fun.
  3. Embrace Learning: Consider enrolling in a growth mindset boot camp. Our Double-Digit Growth 8-week online course offers in-depth insights into transforming your approach to professional hurdles and personal growth.
  4. Seek Inspiration: Reading books on mindset, meditating, or simply taking reflective walks can spark significant shifts in your perspective.

Remember, the journey to adopting a new mindset is ongoing. Each step you take is a move towards unlocking your full potential.

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