"In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future."
Eric Hofer

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 430

Estimated reading time:  3:00 minutes


Good morning from the Sunshine Coast, where the winter rains are settled in and the fire is humming in the corner of the living room. 


We’ve moved our “headquarters” back here for the season, and between phone meetings, coaching sessions and webinars, I’ll be getting the house in order while my ‘significant other’ is working in far flung parts of the continent for the next couple of weeks. All of this has got me thinking about the coming year.


I wonder what you are planning to learn this coming year?


All too often when invited to think about the future, we go right to our planned accomplishments and results. Interestingly, the psychological and neuroscience research is pointing to the importance of learning. We are invited to engage with life from a growth mindset. https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve  


Now each of us fall on a continuum between a fixed and a growth mindset, and we move back and forth, depending on the situation. When we are in a fixed mindset, we hear ourselves say things like, “I can’t do that”, “I’m no good at math”, “I’ve never been good with people” or, “I can’t sing.” We believe that talent and intelligence are fixed and we are, in the immortal words of Lady Gaga, “born this way.” At the other end of the continuum (recall that we are all somewhere on the continuum and we move back and forth depending on the situation), is when we are in a growth mindset. In a growth mindset, we hear ourselves say things like “I know this will be tough, but I’ll try”, “With some effort, I could learn math”, “I’d like to be better with people” or “I’m going to learn to sing.” 


Two key elements here; first, we can consciously choose a growth mindset. We can recognize in our own language and particularly the self talk we hear inside when we are in a fixed mindset, and ask ourselves, “what would it look and sound like if I had a growth mindset here?” And secondly, it’s about progress, not performance. I am learning guitar, I am not yet a maestro. I am learning forgiveness, I am not yet a master. I am learning love, I am not yet the love expert. 



So, as the winter rains and snow begin, what are you planning to learn in the coming year?