If you’re a leader, you know there’s a lot to be said for developing your team. But as an individual, do you ever think about your own growth?

Well, it’s time to start!

In this video, Microsoft’s Michael Thatcher and Turning the Corner’s Kendra Prospero show how every leader can develop a growth mindset — no matter where they are in their career or what challenges they face.

Michael leads Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most utilized independent evaluator of charities. Michael discusses how they expanded to 15 states, acquired the nonprofit Impact Matters, and now rate around 200,000 organizations.


How can leaders develop their own growth mindsets?

Leaders who have a growth mindset have the ability to continuously learn and grow, which is essential for success as a leader.

Here are some ways you can develop your own growth mindset:

  • Instead of looking for problems, reframe them as opportunities. One question you can ask yourself is “how can I make this situation a win/win?”
  • Another way to develop a growth mindset is to notice your feelings of jealousy and turn them on their side by thinking about how you admire that person.
  • If you don’t know something, don’t let that be a barrier; instead, make it your duty to find out more information and learn more.
  • When someone is giving you feedback, see it as that instead of seeing it as criticism.
  • When something seems like it’s too hard, reframe it as being worthwhile.
  • If you’ve encountered a situation that’s just extremely difficult, look for the lesson that you might learn.
  • Anytime you notice yourself being rigid about something, ask if there is any other way it could be.


Learn to love the hard parts of the job.

As Michael says in the video, The Navy Seals have a saying, “Learn to love the suck.”

A growth mindset isn’t about being perfect; it’s about knowing that there is opportunity in every situation.  It’s important for leaders at every level in an organization—from the boardroom down through departments and teams—to understand this idea: their willingness to take risks and see the good helps companies succeed.


Don’t just love the mission; love the work.

As you begin developing a growth mindset, one of the best things you can do is to fall in love with the work. That might sound like an obvious thing to say, but it’s not something that happens by accident. It takes time and effort to cultivate a deep passion for what you do daily, even the tasks that don’t receive attention or directly move the mission forward.

If you are not already doing so, it’s important that you find ways to enjoy what you do so that learning on the job becomes more natural and intuitive.

In summary, leaders can develop a growth mindset by being willing to look for the opportunity in every situation.  They must also be able to cultivate this attitude in their teams so that each individual on the team can grow and develop along with them. This can be achieved through constantly asking “what is the win for both parties”  when communicating with colleagues about what’s working well as well as what isn’t working for them personally and professionally.


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