Keeping Tenacity and a Growth Mindset in Your Toolbox

Keeping Tenacity and a Growth Mindset in Your Toolbox

When I think of GRIT, it takes the form of someone running towards a finish line, with sweat on her face, but determination in her eyes. To complete the analogy based on DRIVEN’s exploration of Grit, perhaps this woman’s greater goal in running the marathon was not so much to cross it off her bucket list as it was to keep in alignment with her foundational values of healthful eating and exercise.

After creating her Grit roadmap, she embedded progressive, intentional practices into her weeks as she followed a training program. From there, she found herself at the starting line of the marathon, poised with an ambitious eye on the finish line. But what happens if she hits the 18th mile with blisters on her feet and a cramp in her leg, feeling undeniably exhausted? This is where she must supplement her Grit with a special kind of drive. It’s called tenacity, which, combined with a growth mindset, is your driver in business goals.

The Path To A Growth Mindset

Good old tenacity, which is the ability to sustain interest and effort towards long-term goals, is a supreme asset to a business professional. It implies some extent of self-control and the capacity to defer short-term gratification. For some, a tenacious mindset comes easily, particularly when their goal is held in great regard. For others, tenacity is a challenge, as is the move forward toward that goal.

During a marathon, the runner’s tenacity might arrive through visualization, or the crowd cheering her on, or even just rocking out to some energizing music. In business, as you hit lulls, speed bumps, or full-on roadblocks, a growth mindset can prove to be the tenacity tool that keeps you truckin’.

The great news about a growth mindset is that we all have access to this free, built-in service. To opt in, simply choose to adopt it. The concept is straightforward: In life or in business, we are continuously “on our way” to a goal, and part of this journey is perpetual growth and learning. Ironically, some folks are in such a hurry to get there, that when they arrive (as with a promotion, a new job, a marriage, a baby), they realize that it’s just a stage in an even longer journey. A partner at a financial services firm whom I recently interviewed put it succinctly: “I thought becoming Partner was my ultimate peak, whereas I was only one-third of the way up the mountain.”

When this long-range growth approach is adopted and embedded into your DNA as a mindset, something magical happens: when you fail, you learn to consider the effort a failure, not yourself. But sadly, those with a fixed mindset keep getting beaten down when they don’t live up to expectations— those of others, or their own.

Curiosity Seals The Deal

The trick to remaining tenacious and staying in growth mindset character is to continue to be curious. For example, when you fail, ask yourself, “How will I do it differently next time?”. Likewise, when it comes to challenges, those with a fixed mindset may steer clear or give up easily, where as those who choose to adopt a growth mindset realize that stretching out of one’s comfort zone and taking risks are healthy paths to progress.

When you join the ranks of the growth mindset militia, you’ll begin to welcome criticism. I, for one, LOVE feedback, realizing that such curiosity is the only way I can grow professionally. The other energizing characteristic of those with a growth mindset is that when others succeed, instead of being jealous or resentful, we find inspiration. We study what they did well and borrow those techniques to “up our own game”.

Now, Mind You…

All this hype about a growth mindset may leave you feeling that it’s a bit mystical or new-agey. But be assured: the effects are real on a brain science level. Check out this outstanding, 10-minute TED Talk by Carolyn Dweck, the woman who is responsible for research and development on the growth mindset. Watch specifically for the image of your brain and how it “lights up” differently when you think with a growth mindset rather than a fixed one. It’s evidence of how your brain is literally more active when you think about how you can get better, instead of feeling defensive, vulnerable and threatened.

In my follow-up to this article, I’ll take you in for a closer look at the brain chemistry behind tenacity and the growth mindset. It’s science, baby!

Deborah Goldstein
Human Capital
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Deborah Goldstein is a recovering restaurateur who founded DRIVEN Professionals to assist companies in attracting, retaining and promoting exceptional talent. DRIVEN ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: Feb 19-23

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: Feb 19-23

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, Feb 19-23, 2018

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Don’t Get Pinged by the Social Security Earnings Limit

I’d like to introduce you to Peggy. Born in 1956, Peggy will be 62 in 2018. She has worked in retail her whole life, the past twenty-five years spent in management. Peggy divorced from her husband 14 years ago, is still single and has no children. — Dana Anspach

2. We're Back to “Bad News is Good News” and “Good News is Great News”

This week the markets shrugged off last week’s fears and went back to the slow and steady melt up, despite economic news that looked likely to once again rock the boat. — Lenore Elle Hawkins

3. Q1 2018 Factor Views

Themes established in 2017 across a wide range of markets and factors continued to resonate through the fourth quarter. Economic growth was strong and supportive of equity markets across the globe, a range of volatility measures reached all-time lows, and business and consumer sentiment remained elevated. — Yazann Romahi and Garrett Norman

4. A Beneficial Basket of Commodities

Advisors and investors that feel they are hearing more and more about commodities and the corresponding exchange traded products in recent months are right. That is a natural result of dollar weakness and yes, the greenback is floundering again in 2018. — Tom Lydon

5. 3 Trends Shaping the Future of Asset Management

As the industry works to cope with new regulation, wades through an outpouring of new products, learns to satisfy investors’ shifting priorities and manages the active-passive debate, the viability of business units will be questioned, and at times radical measures will be taken. Peter Hopkins

6. 5 Ways Advisors Leave Money on the Table, and What to Do About It

My hope is that this article points out some opportunities for you to make more money and serve your clients at a higher level and that you decide to do something about it. — Bill Bachrach

7. The Market Has Gone Wild! Is It Time to Change Your Investment Strategy?

Whether the market is flying high or taunting your emotions with new lows and some bumpy volatility, here are four things every investor should keep in mind ... — Lauren Klein

8. How to Deepen Client Relations and Capture New Business Using Engaging Content

Why financial advisors NEED to understand much more clearly the power of good digital market. With tools like AdvisorStream, it’s easier than ever to get the content you need to drive leads and referrals today! — Kirk Lowe and Matt Halloran

9. Three Ways The Most Successful Gain Big Attention

How do some firms and ideas go from nowhere to everywhere in a few short months? All of a sudden a restaurant becomes popular, a gas station gains a cult following, or a Broadway show becomes too popular to get a ticket for years. — Maribeth Kuzmeski

10. Who Are the Hottest FinTech Firms and Influencers Around the World?

"Worldwide, $27.4 billion poured into fintech startups in 2017, Accenture reports, up 18% from 2016. With so much in play, it’s not surprising that 22 companies are new on this, the third edition of our list."  — Chris Skinner

11. The New Stock Market Normal Is Not What You Think!

Many sensational headlines have been written the past few weeks about market declines, but two things have increased for sure: the viewership and the ad revenues of financial media organizations — Preston McSwain​​​​​​​

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio