Cornell Prof. Beta Mannix, on Leadership and Self Reflection

Prof. Beta Mannix was in the region recently and was leading a Custom Programme for 32 Senior Leaders of a leading Conglomerate. The topics covered self-reflection, being open to feedback, managing change and complexity and having a growth mindset. 

Goal- Setting

Provides a starting point, for shifting your point of view toward proactive change, that will enable you to shape your own “new leadership narrative

The Process

  • Identify concepts, tools and skills that you can immediately use to become a more effective manager and leader
  • Implement tools to help you execute, to put into practice what you know, and to thrive personally and professionally


  • Realize your career goals and aspirations
  • Be recognized as a more effective manager and leader by superiors, peers and direct reports.

Growing Demands from Managers

A recent Global survey suggests growing pressure on Managers to act as coaches (rather than as bosses)

  • Managers to be the architects of the organization’s environment (rather than act as commanders)
  • Managers to act more as owners of the business (rather than as employees)
  • Managers to spend less time improving the winning formula and more time questioning it
  • Managers to spend more time experimenting and trying things (rather than rely entirely on analysis)
  • Managers to spend more of their time thinking and acting strategically (rather than spending all their time on email and operational matters).

But Change is NOT Easy..

What are the barriers?  

Think about characteristics such as intelligence, creativity, athletic ability, or leadership ability…do you agree more with statements A or B?

  • Most things about a person are fundamental, such as creativity or intelligence, and cannot really be changed.
  •  You can always change fundamental aspects about the kind of person you are

How to go about it

  • Can you think of an example in your career when you took on a personal or managerial change initiative and made it happen?
  • And one example when you let it go, or assumed that somebody else would do it?
  • Why?  What made you take ownership in one case but not in the other?
  • What can you learn from this experience, and replicate in other areas ?

Developing a Growth Mindset

The brain is like a muscle

The brain is like a muscle

With a Growth Mindset

  • You can handle failure & frustration
  • Failures are informative, motivating, challenging
  • Effort is meaningful & productive
  • You are willing to take risks

How to change your mindset?

  • Understand that you are looking to change the Mindset, not your personality
  • Is there ANYTHING you can’t learn to do at least a little bit better?
  • Focus on effort rather than innate ability or talent
  • Focus on a limited number of mission-critical goals, and develop tactics for achieving those goals
  • Learn to view behavior, as a combination of learning and performance.  Be persistent, experiment, and don’t expect miracles
  • Look for role models, ask for help!


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