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Embracing a Growth Mindset In Troublesome Times

 Now more than ever before, embracing your inner growth mindset to change and failure will define your future career.

This is very relevant if you are currently looking for a new job or worried about the long term future of your current role.

As one thing is for sure, during the lockdown period as a result of Covid19, the people who have embraced failures and change have been better equipped to not just survive, but to thrive.

So what do I mean when I say … “Growth mindset”?

Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck’s, book on mindset, and in particular, Growth Mindset, is widely recognised around the world.

Leaders wanting to improve business outcomes for the companies they are running are sitting up and taking notice of Dweck’s extensive body of work and looking at ways to develop a growth mindset into their cultures.

Dweck has identified two mindsets that help explain how people see themselves. With a Fixed Mindset, people believe their basic qualities such as intelligence or talent, are fixed entities that they can’t change. With a Growth Mindset, people believe that their intelligence, talents and abilities can be developed through persistence, effort and hard work.

So how can this be applied in your career?

Let’s start off with an example from a good friend of TalentHub, Colin Lewis, CMO at Open Jaw Technologies.

colin lewis, growth mindset, openjawtech, open jaw, talenthub, cmo, marketing week

Colin was made redundant 4 times in his marketing career.

But instead of panicking after these experiences he regrouped, he realised that his talents could be developed through openness to learning new things, effort and hard work.

He moved forward with this knowledge and re-invented himself by going back to learn everything he could about Ecommerce, Digital Marketing and Data-Driven Marketing.

Within a few years he was voted Marketing Leader of the year, is currently lecturing in e-commerce for the Marketing Institute and is a columnist for the UK’s number 1 magazine for marketing news, opinion and information, Marketing Week.

His Growth Mindset journey has given him the opportunity to work for major brand such as BMI,, Thomas Cook and CityJet.

Colin demonstrated a “Growth Mindset” when instead of accepting and dwelling on the redundancy, he took the opportunity to learn, develop and educate himself and accept the challenge which ultimately got him to where he is today.

“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow. – Carol S. Dweck

The next example we have is a local businessman, Liam Igoe, owner of Sweet & Sourdough, located in Marlay Park markets.

Liam Igoe, owner of Sweet & Sourdough, located in Marlay Park markets

During the initial lockdown period of Covid19, instead of closing his business for 2 months like most other restaurants, he used a simple text message as his way to stay relevant with his customers.

He placed a signboard at the entrance to the park, explaining that he was open for business, and could take orders and deliver to people’s homes if they sent him a request through a simple text.

When he was allowed to reopen his doors to the public for business, he sold out in under 2 hours. He now has more customers (like me) than ever before and is considering purchasing bigger ovens to keep up with current demand.

This again is a classic growth mindset as he embraced change head-on. Instead of closing his business for 2 months, he found a way to communicate with his customers, stay relevant and provide a much-needed product in the mouths of these customers.

Liam, thank you, your actions helped lift the spirits in our community!

“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” – Carol S. Dweck

My final example is someone that has inspired me, as not only did he give me a copy of Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset (that changed my life), he has lived his life through this lens in the way that he has embraced change in every form.

Aidan McCullen was that kid who was always last picked for the team. When all his friends had progressed to the senior rugby team, he was still struggling.

aiden mccullen, talenthub, growth mindset

That summer he worked harder than anyone else, working in a bar by night and training by day.

3 years later he was captain of the Leinster under 19 team, then the under 20. 3 years after that he played in the European Cup Semi-Final and that summer he played for Ireland.

This growth journey continued when he pushed himself out of his comfort zone, moved to France to play professional rugby with Toulouse, keeping both All Black Isitolo Maka and France International Yannick Nyanga out of their star-studded team.

When injury cut his playing days short. He embraced the change, and went to work as an intern in Ireland’s largest media company, Communicorp. Guess what?…. Within 3 years he was CEO for their digital division, which he also founded and developed to be the future of the company.

Always studying trends, he foresaw the decline of the media industry and took another leap. In order to re-skill, he took a step backwards to propel forward. He worked as an innovation consultant to learn everything he could about business models. He even temporarily moved to New York to set up an overseas office.

Today, Aidan is a recognised thought leader in the areas of Organisational Culture, Reinvention, Transformation.

In his spare time, he hosts the Innovation Show, now in its 5th year, which boasts over 10,000 listeners per episode. His audience includes Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Thought-Leader Charles Handy and Visa founder Dee Hock. He also lectures at his alma mater, Trinity College, is a global Keynote Speaker and Event MC. His first book with global publisher Wiley hits book stores later this year.

Aidan lives his mantra, develop capability before you need it.

“Effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.” ― Carol S. Dweck

I hope that these stories help you see the advantages of embracing your inner growth mindset so that the next time you are faced with uncertainty, you ask yourself….. How can I use this set back to improve my situation?

If you would like to learn more about applying the principles of a growth mindset in your career, this is something we can help you with at TalentHub Coaching.

TalentHub Coaching, Growth Mindset, Carol S. Dweck

morgan_cumminslAuthor: Morgan Cummins

After an 18-year career in advertising, Morgan transferred his skills and knowledge of this industry into Recruitment and Executive Coaching. Now into his 5th year of new this journey he is a Director in TalentHub Coaching where he specialises in helping people rediscover their peak performance in their career.


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