Advance In The Direction of Boundless Possibilities ©
By Sandra H. Moody
Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders view challenges as opportunities to promote expansion and realize their vision. They know where they are going and understand how to advance their business in the direction of infinite possibilities that stimulates growth. Equally, they understand the importance of building strong connections with colleagues, clients, vendors, and like-minded competitors who share their practice of building social capital that promotes success in their endeavors as well as their business associates. Two key influences that promote advancement in the direction of boundless possibilities are the internal process of a growth mindset and external development of positive connections. Conductor, Benjamin Zander shares a story in “The Art of Possibility” that illustrates opportunity and vision (2002, p.9).
A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the
prospects for expanding business. One scout sends a telegram saying, “situation
hopeless…no one wears shoes.” The other scout reports triumphantly, “glorious
business opportunity…they have no shoes.”
This story exemplifies the profound power of perspective and how our assumptions influence our actions or inactions to advance our vision. This key internal process is known as mindset. World-renowned Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck would translate these contrasting two perspectives as illustration of a fixed and growth mindset. The scout that saw the situation as hopeless adheres to a fixed mindset that is limiting and consists of beliefs that avoid challenges, which can impede learning from mistakes and new experiences. The scout that realized a glorious business opportunity holds a growth mindset that is energized by possibilities and views the challenge as a chance to profit from sales and succeed. Dweck declares “The growth mindset leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism; and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others” (2006, p.245). This mindset philosophy will guide your thinking and actions as you approach situations that will have a significant impact on your accomplishments and long-term success. Another key influence on success is the external development of enduring positive connections that will multiply your social capital and advance your business. Michael Denisoff, CEO of Denisoff Consulting Group said, "Without strong relationships, it is impossible to have success as a business owner" (Inc., 2011). Denisoff contends that developing connections that promote reciprocal relationships with mutual exchange is critical to prosper in your profession. Historically, this guiding principle of ‘building positive relationships’ within and outside the organization has been a best practice for decades, which Gallup confirmed with research spanning 40 years on successful leaders (Conchie, 2004). Furthermore, increasing social capital provides an opportunity to demonstrate your integrity, honesty, and establish quality (not quantity) partnerships based on goodwill that is mutually beneficial. The world of business has changed radically with complex social and technological developments. Nevertheless, successful entrepreneurs and business leaders know to advance in the direction of boundless possibilities, one must embrace a growth-mindset and develop positive connections with business associates to endure and prosper for years to come.
To practice a growth mindset and build positive connections, reflect on the following questions:
1. What breakthroughs and insights have I gained from my experiences?
2. What can I do today that will move me closer toward my goals?
3. Who are my key connectors that can support me in my business endeavors?
4. How can I sponsor my professional associates?