Growth Mindset for New Managers: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide!

Why does ‘mindset’ matter? This is a must-read for the new managers who want to change their outcomes, for those who wish to ‘grow’ to something new, exciting and rewarding.

Managers come in all shapes, sizes and varied styles. Few are ‘great’, some are ‘ordinary’ and rest are ‘awful’. 

If you reflect, you will recall

The ‘great’ manager would have taken you from being nowhere to somewhere awesome. They led you when you lacked confidence, they supported you even when you failed and insisted to learn from your failures, they unconditionally believed in you. You will always remember them; you keep engaging with them for coaching and seek their guidance both personally and professionally. 

The ‘ordinary’ managers, you would not even remember, what they did for you, or even who they were.

The ‘awful’ managers, you can never forget for what they did to you, they took you from hights, where you were confident, continuously performing, acquiring new capabilities and enjoying your job, to a point that you started to doubt your ability. You will always wish, never to encounter them for the rest of your life.

Most of the ‘great’ managers possess a ‘growth mindset’. A two-year study of several Fortune 1000 companies to examine the impact of an entire organization’s mindset was conducted by Senn Delaney in partnership with Stanford Psychology Professor Carol Dweck and her colleagues, Mary Murphy, Jennifer Chatman and Laura Kray. Revels that Managers in ‘growth mindset’ culture organization have a more positive view of their employees and rate them as more innovative, collaborative and committed to learning and growing.

Now you have your choices defined, so as a new manager if you chose to start your journey towards becoming a ‘great’ manager you can continue reading, else…

Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”

 The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”

 “I don’t know,” Alice answered.

 “Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

Still thinking why does ‘mindset’ matter?

Because it’s all about ‘mindset’ and yes it matters the most. So, what are the key attributes of the ‘great’ manager with the ‘growth mindset’:

They believe that intelligence can be developed. 

This leads to a desire to learn which develops the tendency to improve.

To improve, they embrace challenges, they know that with each challenge they will become stronger.

They are not discouraged by internal obstacles or external setbacks; they strongly believe that their image is not linked to their success and they are not concerned about how others would look at them.  

They see efforts as a path to dexterity, they believe it is necessary to grow and master required skills.

They learn from criticism and negative feedback. They believe they can change and improve and negative feedback is not perceived being directly about them as a person, rather about their current abilities.

They learn and seek inspiration from the success of others.

The ‘great’ manager with the ‘growth mindset’ encourages their team members to continuously improve themselves by developing their existing skills and acquiring new ones and performing better than they did before. They focus on development than the criticism of their team members.

What matters beyond ‘mindset’?

Positive attitude and several positive attributes than include:

Effective communication

They adopt a different but positive communication style for each team member and scenario. They tailor the communication to get the best of the team member. They understand each team member’s motivation and communicate in a way that is effective for the member.

Effort Oriented

They do not measure their team on success or failure, they value effort and learning the most. They reward success but do not penalize on failure but insist on the learnings from the failure.

Challenge Focused

They encourage team members to go beyond their comfort zone and accept new challenges, they support their team members irrespective of success or failure. They believe with each challenge their team members will become stronger.

Goal Driven

They know where they must reach and how to take the team along, they don’t enforce rather obtain ‘Trust’ to achieve the goal. They have clarity, understanding and plan to achieve the required goal. They seek buy-in from the team and motivate them to reach the goal.


They value ‘Trust’ and create an environment of trust within the team as well as around them. Their team members believe the manager to an extent that any negative news or information is considered as a rumor.


They give their team members the confidence to approach them in any given circumstances, be it a good new or a bad one without the fear of the outcome. They give their team members good listing always; they motivate their team and encourage them to come up with possibilities and coach them to make the possible choice in the given circumstances.

Learning Atmosphere

They create a learning atmosphere within the team and encourage them to learn new skills and put relentless effort to master the required skills. They foster cross-learning and knowledge sharing. 

Lead by Example

They demonstrate traits which they expect their team members to either have or develop. They will never ask for an activity that they themselves will never undertake. They are always ready for role-playing to coach their team members. They encourage executive sponsorship to achieve the required outcome.

Even ‘great’ managers are human and will make mistakes, but what matters is that they will learn from the mistake and aim not to repeat them. They are always busy, either learning or taking new challenges. 

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

– Michael Jordan

The ‘great’ manager is positivity personified, they have the rare but right balance of “empathy of your best friend” and “compassion of top sports star”

You may also like to read “How does a Growth Mindset transform your organization’s success?”

This article is an attempt to respond to one of my reader’s request. Thanks “Shleena Gomez” for asking, hope you found it useful.

Neelesh Kumar Rastogi

1 Response

  1. Hey Neelesh, thank you so much for accepting my request of follow up article on how new managers can benefit from ‘growth mindset’.
    This is really helpful, what writing skills you have.

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