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Industry Insights – What Does it Mean to Have a Growth Mindset?

Personal development and business idea career concept.

It’s a fact that leaders in business must become comfortable with the uncomfortable. They encounter risk-laden decisions, difficult conversations, marketplace shifts, and yes, sometimes failure. To maintain confidence they must hold a growth mindset, believing that effort matters—sometimes even more than results.

Being able to see the opportunities—the positives—in challenging situations is a hallmark of a growth mindset. Some of us are more naturally inclined to think that way, but everyone is capable of it. It’s a choice—the difference between seeing a hurdle and thinking, “Wow, I can’t wait to leap that high!” versus “There’s no way I can do that; I’m turning around.”

Here at INSight™ we asked our vendors to share how they use a growth mindset in their day-to-day lives, and what it means to have a growth mindset in the workplace. We hope their answers will have you nodding along in agreement, feeling inspired and appreciative of your own efforts.

Taking Shape- Tracey Wozny, Executive Director

“Having a growth mindset starts with my morning routine of journaling, reflection, meditation, working out, and reading. It is an infinite lifestyle of everyday choices. It is understanding that life is a continuous journey of doing something that gets you out of your comfort zone and not trying to reach a final destination. 

I lead our team with a growth mindset too. It is in our culture—the language we speak and the expectations of our organization—that we continue to grow, learn, and improve as a group. We hold each other accountable in our weekly meetings, engage in book clubs, and attend continuing education events. Everyone on our team has an individual growth plan and we hold each other accountable to it.”

iTapOnline.com- Hillary-Marie, CEO

“A growth mindset is inspiring and exciting, and for me, it’s knowing that through tap dance, our students’ growth is exponential. Tap dance always offers us something new to learn, experience, and share in the art form. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!”

Stagestep - Randy Swartz, President

“It is the tributaries that contribute to the makings of a mighty river—be on the lookout for opportunities that add to your mission. Remember that growth is hardly a straight-line path. Be willing to take risks.”

A Wish Come True- Renee Stojek, Creative Director

“I remind myself that each day is about progress, not perfection. This helps me recognize the small steps that lead to meaningful change, and applies to my work at A Wish Come True. We are continually challenging our processes to be a better partner for studio owners. It’s important for our whole team not to be afraid to make a mistake or ask a question. From the newest intern to the 30-year veteran sewer, everyone has room to learn and grow.”

Boppin' Babies™- Melanie Boniszewski, Co-founder and co-owner

“I use a growth mindset in my day-to-day life by knowing that it’s OK to make mistakes and it is OK to disagree with others. Having a growth mindset at work also means that I support all of our employees as they come up with new ideas. I believe it is important to allow them to use their own strategies to face any challenges they are faced with. Then, with constructive feedback, they can continue to try new things, learn from their mistakes, and take ownership of solutions.”

Darby's Dancers- Valerie Jones, Founder

“With a growth mindset, we should always be mindful of nurturing the things we do well and be open to making improvements and expanding our horizons. That’s part of living well and being mentally healthy. At Darby’s Dancers, we are always looking for new ways to make our programs better and ways to expand and share that information with our partners.”

Penny Prima® - Joe Naftal, CEO

“It’s important to continually share your vision with everyone on your team. Keep them in the know of what you’re planning, what the key metrics are, and what success looks like in the near term and the long term. Inviting your team to see the ‘big picture’ helps them feel like a part of what you’re trying to build, and will allow them to offer ideas that guide the entire business towards its goals.”

DiscoverDance- Andrea Trench, Founder

We have been using the lull in the growth of our company to reevaluate our best products, and we have successfully taken our costume catalog from a pdf to an online order form with filters and clickable ordering. This was a huge project that required some custom-built tools and plugins. We have also undergone a name change during the pandemic, which has been a big undertaking, including the rebranding of our packaging and updated website. We are now working on reaching our client base through newsletters and a stronger social media presence.

Revolution- Suzanne Blake gerety

“Having a growth mindset does not mean having a fairytale outlook, but instead seeing any setback or perceived failure as an opening to learn. I approach every problem as an opportunity to grow, and I’m a big believer in finding the silver lining. 

At work, I lead my team with a growth mindset philosophy and model a ‘what’s possible’ approach rather than seeing any issue as unchangeable. Including my team members’ perspectives also helps foster a growth mindset culture. I’m a big fan of establishing agreed-upon best practices for communication to create a safe space for sharing ideas and solving problems.”

nrg dance project - Laila Hardman, Studio management consultant

“As a leader, having a growth mindset starts with being a good listener—hearing ideas and showing grace when needed. Every person on the team matters and encouraging their continuous growth is everything.”

tututix - adam bathe, vertical sales manager

“A growth mindset starts with allowing yourself to be curious, without fear of judgment. That means bringing a willingness to learn to everything you do day-to-day and at work. My very first employer said it best, ‘You’re never too good to learn a better way to do something.’ Approaching work with an attitude of openness is crucial to being resilient and building sustainable growth. Our motto at TutuTix is ‘Your success is our business’ because we know when our clients grow, we grow with them!”

classkid - austin roberson, ceo

“In software, we use a development process called ‘agile.’ This method naturally encourages two things: a clear plan and flexibility. I encourage everyone I work with to have/be both. I try not to get caught up in what doesn’t work and instead, treat every decision as an experiment. This way I’m not so tied to the result and if I fail, I learn from it and grow.”

Classion Designs Corp. - tara pickford, president and Ceo

“A growth mindset allows me to see each problem as a challenge rather than a negative experience. It allows for the opportunity to be fascinated rather than frustrated, and it gives room to create more positives within the company.

I am mindful that when a challenge presents itself we will use it to grow—skills, knowledge, understanding, even compassion. By leading in this way, we have fewer ‘bad days’ and ‘bad clients’ and instead more problem-solving and ownership. It took many years to build this as part of our culture, but now we are reaping the benefits of that hard work.”

weissman- claudia reed, senior vice president of marketing

“We listen intently to our customers and also take a retrospective look at everything we do, asking ourselves, ‘How do we get better? What have we learned?’ When we focus on being a better partner to the studios we serve, we naturally grow as a business.

We also empower our employees to help our customers in every way possible. We share company goals cross-functionally so that everyone has a stake in the growth. And we celebrate those milestones!”

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