Startup Mentality: Developing A Growth Mindset

Agency Culture

Startup Mentality: Developing A Growth Mindset

by Alex Chan
July 27, 2021

The journey to growth begins with a single step and a good number of stumbles along the way. As a startup, it’s important to develop an attitude that strives to innovate and recognize every setback as a learning opportunity.

Why is the Growth Mindset so important, you ask?

1. Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

Starting something new is truly for the brave. As soon as you begin, you’ll encounter all sorts of questions and uncertainties, but the best way to stay on track is to tell yourself and your team, “I love a challenge”.

The Growth Mindset promotes the understanding that your abilities are not yet in their final form and can still be improved with gained experience, whereas people with Fixed Mindsets feel disconcerted and overwhelmed when faced with challenges.

Individuals with Fixed Mindsets feel their intelligence is up for judgement when presented with failure in trying to overcome a difficult obstacle. What they fail to consider is that the process of learning is constant. No one has it all figured out yet, but we can deal with these new things together.

2. Learning Goals vs. Performance Goals

People with Learning Goals apply the Growth Mindset – believing their intelligence can be developed, and that they view each mistake as a chance to learn.

If you are mastery-oriented, you are hell-bent on learning something new every day!

A new lesson, no matter how big or small, is always a valuable one. Whether it’s quick know-how to best utilize a new communication platform, or a simple how-to effectively approach a busy colleague for their input, all these ultimately make work that much easier!

On the other hand, those with Performance Goals are fixated on self-image. Convinced that their capacity for intelligence is fixed at birth, they view each setback as a personal threat. They make a habit of pursuing only activities wherein they are certain to succeed.

When you refuse to take risks, you miss out on a lot of opportunities to grow.

If you find yourself guilty of these, consider focusing on learning over performance! You’ll find this change extremely helpful to you and the rest of your team.

3. Not Yet vs. Failure

When encountering setbacks, using the words “not yet” instead of “failure” promotes confidence and encourages greater persistence within the workplace. These can help shift mindsets to consider venturing out of comfort zones in order to learn something new no matter how difficult it may be.

In the startup world, you often find yourself resorting to unconventional and creative approaches to reach your goals. These attempts may not always be successful, but trial and error are necessary to refine your methods.

The beauty of “not yet” lies in understanding that the experience of failure is not the end, but a necessary and inevitable part of every person’s learning curve. To hone and develop important skills, one must readily accept that there is always room for improvement.

We’re not yet there, but we are well on our way!

4. Coping with Challenges

When faced with problems that are harder than usual, people can choose to either react positively or negatively.

This is where a good leader needs to step in and help set the tone.

What should the team keep in mind when encountering tough times?

By fostering a Growth Mindset, individuals can understand that their abilities can be further developed through difficult experiences. There’s no need to feel discouraged when things do not go according to plan.

Abilities can always improve when put to the test.

This kind of thinking keeps people open-minded, more willing and even excited to take on new challenges. What they lack in skill as of the moment, can be made up for with creativity and resourcefulness after all!

5. Proper Praising

How do we reinforce the Growth Mindset?

By recognizing which work behaviors deserve the most praise.

Intelligence and talent? No, not only those!

Every instance where colleagues formulate a brilliant strategy, exhibit complete focus and unwavering perseverance to achieve a goal – these deserve the highest regard.

No matter how seemingly impossible a work task may seem, one should always give their very best. Even if the odds seem against you, think ahead and have contingency plans in place. Resilience is what truly makes a team effective and able to gain mastery of new skills!

Praising this behavior encourages every member to develop their problem-solving abilities and achieve success together.

As a startup, you should never lose sight of the bigger picture. Great things come from small beginnings but can only make it so far without the proper mindset.

The kind of mentality to embrace should always propel each member to explore uncharted terrain and make discoveries – and even conquer new feats!

With all these in mind, let us create a work environment that inspires both personal and collective growth – to make a truly incredible difference in our industry.



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