‘What’ and ‘if’ are two very small words but when they are placed side by side, they open up a realm of possibilities. This past week I had the privilege of working with leaders in multiple sectors. The workshops focused on the ‘why’ of leadership and the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of communication. ‘What’ and ‘if’ were two words that stimulated lots of group discussions. Why? Well, these leaders all shared stories of those leaders who had gone before them, some of the stories were a true celebration of humble and authentic achievement and other stories reflected the realities of what can happen when people are incorrectly appointed to positions.
During the workshops, leaders were invited to consider the words ‘What’ and ‘if’ as part of a growth leadership mindset. Guided by the work of Carol Dweck (2019) whose research has focused on people’s beliefs and their impact on human interaction, connection, engagement and well-being, participants were challenged to use “What” and “if” to explore possibilities. Why? Because we all know that leadership is not easy. However, when we function with a growth mindset, we are no longer observers in the world but active participants who not only seek to grow and learn ourselves but also walk along with others on their journey.
So, how can you apply ‘what’ and ‘if’ in your growth leadership mindset?