Mindset changes: how CEOs can grow their business by thinking differently

Dakota Murphey
Business Growth Consultant
5th August 2022

There are hundreds of ways you can grow a business, from small tweaks that are virtually imperceptible but build over time to big changes that require significant financial investment. 

But one of the most effective ways to develop is through a change in how you think about your business and the processes you implement. By thinking differently and moving away from a fixed mindset, you can form new ideas and see your business grow from a new angle, and that can make all the difference in reimagining what you’re already doing or trying to achieve. 

Nurture a growth mindset over a fixed mindset

Taking on a growth mindset can help leaders to learn and improve their capabilities and inspires the rest of the team to grow. A growth mindset requires you to focus on getting better and more confident at what you do, with the belief that the options to learn are limitless, while a fixed mindset results in the belief that you either have innate skills or not. 

Research shows that companies that take on a growth mindset are more productive, with motivated teams and more innovative thinking. Because people are fearful of appearing unintelligent or less knowledgeable, a fixed mindset within a company can foster a culture of competitiveness and is distinctly less collaborative than a growth mindset. 

Think big

So many leaders diminish their plans for something more ‘achievable’, fearful of making audacious goals. But there’s benefit in thinking big and letting go of negative talk that’s often based on past experiences or negative outlooks. Instead of shutting down ideas immediately by assuming you can’t achieve something, consider what needs to change in order for you to reach that goal and take steps to make it happen. What do you need to learn, and who can you learn from to reach those bigger goals you have for your company? 

Feeling nervous about making changes in your business is understandable, but it shouldn’t stop you from taking action because the results can make it all worthwhile. As John Cutler, Head of Product Research and Education at Amplitude, explains, it’s all about striking the right balance between thinking big and working small — creating small, manageable tasks that support and fulfil the wider vision. 

Learn from failure

There’s no doubt that anyone starting a business wants it to be a thriving success. And while you naturally don’t want to strive for failure, it’s also not the worst thing that can happen. In fact, if you can shift your mindset to define and view failure as an opportunity to learn, you’ll find the journey of running your business much smoother. Understanding today’s rhetoric of what is considered ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and adjusting negative language to positive is a worthwhile skill that can help to retrain your mindset. Failure, after all, is where growth and development happens. 

Learn to embrace your mistakes and find the education opportunities within each one because everyone fails and makes mistakes at some point. In fact, in business, it’s almost inevitable that at some point, something won’t go to plan. But what sets successful businesses apart is how they bounce back from those mistakes. How you can cultivate and use your failure to grow is what will help you avoid those same mistakes in the future. 

Embrace a fresh perspective

No one can do it all alone, and whether you’re a one-person enterprise or a team of 20, you need to bear in mind that there are others that may have better or more effective ideas that could benefit your business. It might be cheaper to work alone, but it limits your output and opportunity to learn and grow and can also result in you getting burnt out very quickly. 

Outsourcing your business services to a specialist in the field in question can make all the difference, enabling your business to benefit from the expertise of a third-party team while also learning from their knowledge and guidance in the process. Whether it’s seeking advice from property specialists or taking the guidance of accountants who can offer advice for best practices, being open to receiving assistance from others can help you reach success in half the time and often more effectively. 

Appreciate constructive criticism

Praise is great, and is an effective motivator for many. But if you’re only ever being told what’s going well, you’re likely to be missing the aspects of your business that need to be improved. And that can eventually lead your business to stagnate. When you listen to criticism, it forces you to make positive changes so that you don’t receive that kind of criticism again. In other words, it forces you to become better, and that makes your business more competitive and stronger. 

So many entrepreneurs focus so much on seeking praise that they neglect to see the value in criticism, but it’s so important to make real progress and move your business forward. You need to be able to listen to feedback from colleagues and customers to improve. Business leaders can benefit enormously simply from taking on board those comments that might be harder to hear but that offer so much more in terms of helping you to grow. 

Having a culture of learning and a willingness to change prevents your business from getting stuck in its ways, and that can have a significant impact on your success. By being curious and open to adapting to new ways of working, your business can enjoy greater success and increased productivity. As a business leader, your mindset is one of your strongest assets, and it’s essential that you learn how to think differently as your business evolves. 

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