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Be a #Learn_It_All

One of our core values here at Kane Learning is having a growth mindset. We are devoting this blog post to explaining what that means and how you cultivate it for yourself.


Dr. Carol Dweck, developer of the growth mindset concept, explains it this way:

“Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and put more energy into learning. When entire companies embrace a growth mindset, their employees report feeling far more empowered and committed; they also receive greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation.”

Growth mindset is something we work on and work towards. It’s not something we naturally have or don’t have. We are all a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets, and we continue to strengthen one or the other as we lean into it. Dweck calls this the “power of yet.” For example, naturally, I am not quick to embrace change. So, over time, I have challenged myself to be curious and ask questions during times of change to keep myself from sinking into a fixed mindset by reminding myself that I am not an expert on this new project … yet.

A helpful way Dr. Dweck explains how to embody a growth mindset, is to be something she calls a “learn-it-all.” In her book, The New Psychology of Success, she writes:

“We no longer need to be know-it-alls. We need to become learn-it-alls, infinitely adapting and adjusting to new information, environments, and people. Learning is no longer the mark of a novice. It is a life-long practice.”

This “learn-it-all” growth mindset has emerged as a key leadership characteristic. A recent Fast Company article called out that the most respected and resilient leaders have had this mindset.


We’ve written before on the importance of self-reflection. Here are 4 thought-provoking steps to walk through to help you embrace a growth mindset:

  1. Clarity – get clear on what you want to accomplish, personally and professionally. This step is foundational to knowing where you are going and why. (We’ve also written about determining your why – you can read that here).

  2. Context – pause to take stock of your environment. Where are you right now in your life? In your work life? What brings you joy and fuels you? What drains you? What control do you have over those things, and what adjustments can you make?

  3. Community – The people you have around you have a profound influence on you! You may not control who is on your work team, but you can surround yourself with those who will challenge and encourage you –a mentor, coach, peer, or a personal board of directors. You also need a place where you feel you belong. That’s essential to providing you space to feel safe to try, fail, and try again.

  4. Contribution – The way you contribute goes beyond your work contribution to the ways you volunteer, show up in your community, and support those around you. When you feel like you are adding value, you are more able to be open to learning.

*Adapted from the work of Angela C. Hill, Forbes Coaches Council

If you want to read more and follow reflection prompts, check out the full article here.

Which of these 4 C’s stand out to you? Are you noticing an area that you want to get better in? To learn about?

Simon Sinek recently shared at a leadership event that all of the great leaders he’s ever met consider themselves students, not experts.

Let’s be students and embrace learning, together.

Share with us how you’re learning by using the #Learn_It_All on LinkedIn! We’d love to see the ways you’re pursuing a growth mindset.

To watch a video or read Dr. Dweck’s’ article about what a growth mindset actually means, click here.

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