The First Step to Growing Your Leadership Ability

So you desire to grow your leadership skills. What’s the primary prerequisite?

I recently read from Carol Dweck’s thought provoking book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. According to her, mindset powerfully affects our identity and self-image and profoundly impacts our ability to rise to new challenges.

So our mindset either stunts or accelerates our growth as leaders.

The Bible sets clear expectations that believers should grow spiritually:

  • In our thinking (1 Corinthians 14:20)
  • In our learning (Proverbs 1:5)
  • In our faith (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
  • In love (Philippians 1:9)
  • In all aspects (Ephesians 4:13-15)

Growth constitues a given in any Christian’s life and doubly so for leaders! The interesting angle that Dweck raises: many people cannot grow because they have a fixed mindset.

The Fixed Mindset

Leaders with a fixed mindset believe that they are who they are; they cannot change. Leadership style, gifts, abilities – all set. Those with a fixed mindset are:

  • Less likely to engage in continuing education opportunities or to try out new ways of leading
  • Likely to defend themselves if others point out shortcomings
  • Likely to be more reactive than proactive
  • Likely to see failure as a def eat and move into despair, blaming and anger, or depression

The Growth Mindset

Leaders with a growth mindset believe that while they may be endowed with certain gifts, abilities, callings, they are responsible for their own self-development and growth as a leader.  Their identity is not fixed but growing and changing. Those with a growth mindset are:

  • Likely to seek out learning opportunities
  • Likely to try new things
  • More willing to take risks and challenge themselves in new ways
  • Likely to seek feedback from others so that they can improve
  • Likely to see obstacles as learning opportunities and challenges
  • Able to admit weakness because they see them as an area for improvement rather than a fatal flaw.

Truth is, the fact that you are reading this article suggests you have a growth mindset!

Leaders need a growth mindset. How can we lead others to grow and develop if we do not seek continual growth and development?

My challenge to you this week: consider the tests currently facing you in life and ministry. Do you believe that you can do little to change them or how you handle them? Or do you rather have the attitude that you can learn new things, try new ways, and master new skills?

Could your circumstances simply be another of God’s training sessions? If so, what is it that He wants you to learn?

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