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July Flight Path: Cultivate a growth mindset and awaken your genius 🧠

Newsletter, July 2023

The new financial year has kicked off with a bang and I am working on some really exciting projects that I can’t wait to share with you soon! Amidst the hustle and focus on delivery over the last couple of months, I realised that I hadn’t paused to reflect on my journey. It wasn’t until when I received a draft editorial from Ski Asia two weeks ago that I was filled with mixed emotions - teary, excited and proud of the path I have traversed (sometimes literally on my skis) in pursuit of my dreams. 

I recently finished reading Awaken Your Genius by Ozan Varol which inspired this month’s flight path. Varol writes:

“If you put a seed upside down in the ground, the sprouting plant will right itself.

Roots know which direction they need to point in order to grow and will turn themselves until they get there.” This really struck a chord with me as we may start with just an idea, unsure of where it will take us. I planted the seed for Bluebird almost five years ago and path only emerged a few years later after surrendering to the unknown. More on my reflections and musings on this LinkedIn post.

How to cultivate a growth mindset 

This month I have been facilitating workshops and coaching clients on growth mindset, a concept popularised by Psychologist Carol Dweck and her pioneering research. It is a powerful paradigm that has profound implications for leaders and their teams. At its core, growth mindset centres on the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed and cultivated through effort, learning, and perseverance.

Leaders with a growth mindset are more likely to embrace challenges, view failures as opportunities for learning, and persist in the face of setbacks. This contrasts with those who possess a fixed mindset, believing that their talents and intelligence are innate and unchangeable, leading them to avoid challenges to protect their self-image. 

More recently, Dweck’s research has been further enhanced by her colleague Kelly McGonigal and Andrew Huberman at Stanford by exploring the synergistic relationship between the growth mindset and the "stress-is-enhancing mindset." Last week’s episode of the Huberman Lab podcast delves into how stress can actually enhance performance and when combined with a growth mindset.

For leaders, this episode offers a wealth of science-supported tools and strategies to adopt a performance-enhancing mindset and valuable insights into how you can foster a sense of empowerment and motivation with your employees, unlocking their full potential and driving higher levels of performance and create a culture of continuous improvement, resilience, and innovation within their organisations.

Awaken your genius

How can we challenge conventional thinking and break free from limiting beliefs that stifle creativity? This is the question that Ozan Varol addresses in his latest book, Awaken Your Genius. Varol presents a roadmap for embracing curiosity, failure as a steppingstone to success, and cultivating a growth mindset that allows for continuous learning and improvement.

Drawing from his experiences as a rocket scientist, lawyer, and best-selling author, Varol offers a unique perspective on how to cultivate and harness the genius within ourselves. With a blend of science, art, and personal anecdotes, Varol provides a refreshing approach to self-discovery and unleashing the untapped potential that lies within each of us. Whether you’re is seeking to reignite your creative spark or unlock your entrepreneurial spirit, this book serves as a valuable guide to tap into the genius that resides within and make a lasting impact on the world.

What the last six months of running my business full time has taught me is that we often hold ourselves back, afraid to take bold risks and in the process silencing our authentic voice. When we break free from limiting beliefs, we can discover so much more.

Varol reminds us that nothing is fixed and not even the north star Polaris, which has been known as a fixed point in the sky, a reliable guide for navigators throughout history. Yet, like everything else in the universe, it too moves and evolves. In about two thousand years, Polaris will no longer hold its position as the north star. This served as a metaphor for the impermanence of our own limitations and the ever-changing nature of our capabilities which is shaped by our willingness to embrace change.

What I am listening to 🎧

It’s no secret that I love The Tim Ferris Show and in this episode with Jake Muise, co-founder of Maui Nui Venison they discuss everything from mindset to sustainability and having a team that’s truly agile (think Navy seals crossed with farmers).

There’s so much we can learn from this episode and how Maui Nui Venison is cultivating a culture of innovation and growth mindset. I love what they are doing so much that I am reaching out to Jake Muise to see if I can use their leadership practices as a case study. As with all episodes on this show it is long form interviews and if you don’t have time listen then check out this short video from Maui Nui Venison on leadership and team lessons.

What I am re-reading 📖

I am currently re-reading The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life by  Boyd Varty. This little enchanting book is a rare jewel that I like to re-read for inspiration whenever I feel stuck. Varol mentioned it in “Awaken your genius” and it was reminder to pick it up again. It’s the kind of book you can read in an afternoon.

I first came across Varty when he gave a keynote at a conference a couple of year ago and his conversation with Tim Ferris is one of my favourite episodes. Varty takes you on a journey of tracking a pride of lions in the South African bush and weaves in profound life lessons, insights into how ancient wisdom and the natural world can guide us in modern life and inspiration to reevaluate our own lives and connect with our true essence. Every time I delve into its pages, I find new layers of wisdom that resonate deeply and spark a renewed sense of purpose.

Quote I'm pondering 💬

“If you can let contradictory thoughts dance with each other without your head exploding, they’ll produce a symphony brimming with additional music - in the form of new ideas - far superior to the original. When you adopt this mindset, you gain the magic of perspective and see through the smoke and mirrors created by one-dimensional stories. In the end, there’s so much beauty in complexity. A world of multitudes is far more interesting - and accurate - than a world of certitudes.”

I hope this was helpful and sparked some insights. I would love to hear your thoughts! 

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