Early in my career during a period of low commodity prices, a high-level executive sent an email to middle management with the following context:
We are not willing to spend money on new software, projects or ideas. If an engineer comes to you with an idea. tell them to look into how we’ve always done it and get them to do it that way.
I was not a middle manager and I was likely not supposed to see the email, however my manager showed it to me.
Immediately, I knew I didn’t want to work for that company.
My work had all been new to that company and it had generated millions of dollars in savings. I never understood why my work got so much push back, I thought I was the problem. I blamed myself for not communicating better, for not educating more, for my lack of ability to generate buy-in from management (I had buy-in from the planning, purchasing and maintenance departments as well as OEMs).
But what was the problem?
Bad Leadership – that executive and that company operated from a fixed mindset.
Carol Dweck explains what a fixed mindset is in her book, Mindset: The Psychology of Success: “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.”
The belief that permeated that organization was that they had always been doing the best they could and there wasn’t room to get any better. Just like a person, they believed they maxed out their abilities and growth was no longer possible.
The truth is that growth is always possible and growth is required for a fulfilling life.
Does your company manage from a fixed mindset? Are you challenging yourself to grow? Hit reply and let me know! I’d love to hear from you!
Reliability Never Sleeps,