Ryan Gottfredson is a mental success coach and cutting edge leadership consultant. He is also author, training and researcher, and recently written the bestselling book, SUCCESS MINDSETS. You can learn from Ryan:
- Mindset is a driver for our behaviour
- Companies that focus on mindset are more productive
- Behaviours and Mindsets get mixed up
- How our Mindset impacts how we think, learn, behave, and also shapes our physiology
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Music: " Upbeat Party " by Scott Holmes courtesy of the Free Music Archive FMA
Transcript: Thanks to Jermaine Pinto at JRP Transcribing for being our Partner. Contact Jermaine via LinkedIn or via his site JRP Transcribing Services
You can learn more from Ryan below
Website: https://ryangottfredson.com (you can take the Mindset Assessment here!)
Ryan on LinkedIn
Book: Success Mindsets
Full Transcript Below
Steve Rush: Some call me Steve, dad, husband or friend. Others might call me boss, coach or mentor. Today you can call me The Leadership Hacker.
Thanks for listening in. I really appreciate it. My job as the leadership hacker is to hack into the minds, experiences, habits and learning of great leaders, C-Suite executives, authors and development experts so that I can assist you developing your understanding and awareness of leadership. I am Steve Rush and I am your host today. I am the author of Leadership Cake. I am a transformation consultant and leadership coach. I cannot wait to start sharing all things leadership with you.
Steve Rush: Ryan Gottfredson is our special guest on the show today. He is a mental success coach and cutting edge leadership consultant. He is also author, training and researcher, and recently written the bestselling book, SUCCESS MINDSETS. Before we get a chance to speak with Ryan, It is The Leadership Hacker News.
The Leadership Hacker News
Steve Rush: In 1962, John F. Kennedy gave his famous, “We choose to go to the moon speech”, and in just 2,503 days, Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the moon. It was indeed a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind, but the entire world celebrated the moon landing, and ironically, if you think about the way that we’ve evolved, we put a man on the moon 13 years before we put wheels on luggage. What is the reason for that? What mindsets
and the best minds in the world were focused on putting that man on the moon and not making normal travel a bit easier, so mindsets was a massive driver. Most would say to be a great leader; you need to have a great mindset, right? When it comes to investment in leadership, it is estimated that organizations worldwide will spend roughly about $350 to 400 million a year.
But research by Brandon Hall Group found that 75% of that spend was rated by those organizations as not very effective, so how come? Well, it turns out that very few will focus on mindsets as part of the overall development of leadership. So does mindset contribute to the bottom line results as well as the behaviours of those that lead organizations. Growjo a company that highlights and predicts the fastest growing 10,000 companies across the planet, and this includes existing companies, as well as start-ups.
One organization has always demonstrated the right mindset from the get go is a company called LetsGetChecked and its number one on the list. Peter Foley, their CEO and founder started the company in 2015. He was inspired to start the business after suffering testicular cancer at the age of 16, following a rugby accident, which went undiagnosed for a long period of time. It was this experience that led him on this journey to create home testing kits in the world of medicine. Mindset has been a massive driver for Peter and mindset has been a massive driver for the way that they do things. Now, if you were thinking they are only successful because of the coronavirus, that is your mindset talking by the way, you would be wrong. Their business started in 2015, but also had product that they could pivot when the opportunity presented itself, to having the mindset that was allowing that thinking was key critical to their success now. When asked, Peter said, mindset is at the heart of our success, and that has been The Leadership Hacker News. If you have any news insights or want to share anything with our listeners, please get in touch.
Start of Podcast
Steve Rush: Joining me on the show today is Ryan Gottfredson. He is a mental success coach, a cutting edge leadership consultant and researcher. He is the author of the bestselling book, SUCCESS MINDSETS. Ryan, welcome to the show.
Ryan Gottfredson: Steve thanks for having me on. I have been looking forward to this.
Steve Rush: Me too, so mindset is a part of all of our lives and our work. So I'm really excited to get inside some of your research, some of your thinking, some of your work. But before we do that, tell us a little bit about how you got involved in the subject and what is you're doing at the moment?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah and I appreciate you asking, and let me even preface this by saying; I think that most people, when we start talking about mindset, they are like, oh. This is this fluffy concept. That is dealing with our state of mind and that is how I used to see mindsets. And what I'm now found is I've kind of dove into the academic research on mindsets and even the neuroscience on mindsets that our mindsets are truly the most foundational aspect about ourselves.
And so, as I mentioned is I originally didn't think this way about mindsets. How I came upon mindsets was when I did my dissertation, when I was at Indiana University. I did that on leadership and this allowed me the opportunity to look back at the last 70 years of leadership research. And what I found is that the primary focus of all of this research has been around answering the question, what do leaders need to do to be effective? And I think it's a really important question to answer. But also at the same time, it feels a little short-sighted to me because I don't know about you, but I think of leadership as being less about doing the right things and so much more about being a certain type of person. Being somebody that other people want to follow, and so my focus for the last seven years is how do we tap into this being element of leadership and everything has led me to mindsets because they're so foundational to everything that we do.
Steve Rush: And I suspect in the last 70 years, there has been a massive shift from what was once acceptable framing and mindset to what we are experiencing today, right?
Ryan Gottfredson: Mindsets is relatively new, so in terms of leadership research, the language really has not changed. I mean, 70 years ago in the 1950s, we were identifying the same leadership behaviours that are important as we are today. And we're just calling them different things, so we might say transformational leadership or a responsible leadership. Well, those aspects of those forms of leadership were identified back in the 1950s. So I think it should lead us to think why haven't we gotten more effective at developing leaders and I think the reason why we haven't gotten more effective is most leadership development programs overlook mindsets. In fact, I just did a pretty big data collection where I surveyed 150 organizations and what I found is only 12% of these organizations focus on mindsets when they develop their leaders.
Steve Rush: Wow.
Ryan Gottfredson: And when they don't focus on mindsets, they say that they're effective at developing their leaders only one third of the time. When they do focus on mindsets, they say that they're effective at developing their leaders two thirds of the time. So it has doubled the effect if they focus on mindset.
Steve Rush: That is really interesting data too, isn't it?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, fascinating. I mean, it was great stuff for me being a promoter of mindset.
Steve Rush: I wonder how much of that ironically is due to the mindsets of the people leading the organization, right?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, and you are so right, because when we start talking about mindsets and we want to focus on mindsets and organizations. What that is suggesting is that we have learned that in order to be effective leaders, we've got to deepen our self-awareness. And that's the first place that we need to start.
So we should not start with, here's all the things that you need to do to be effective. It's, let's dive into ourselves. Identify our mindsets; identify our fears and our insecurities that are holding us back. And let's address those before we start focusing on the doing, because we could focus on the doing all day long, but if our prevailing negative mindsets are still there. Those negative mindsets are going to resist any of the changes that our organization might be trying to make within us.
Steve Rush: Got it, so having done extensive research and continue to do research and transferring that into your consultancy world. What kind of things are you working on right now with individuals and organizations?
Ryan Gottfredson: Great question. The thing that I have been doing is I have developed an exercise that helps people awaken to their mindset. So here's the thing that we need to understand about mindsets is our mindsets are things that most of us aren't conscious of, but they are dictating how we think, how we learn and how we behave.
So, for example, and I think there's many people that are familiar with fixed and growth mindset. When we have a fixed mindset, this means that we are naturally mentally programmed at the current moment to see challenges and failure as things to avoid, because they send a signal to us, that we are a failure if we were to fail. But when we have a growth mindset, we are mentally wired to see challenges and failures as things to learn from and so, depending upon our current wiring, we non-consciously approach challenging situations differently. Those are the fixed mindset; they are inclined to back away from those challenges. That is just there natural processing those with a growth mindset. When they see challenges, they are inclined to approach them and that is their natural way of processing. And if we've got a group of a hundred people in the room about 50% are going to be more fixed, the other half are going to be more growth. And the 50% growth are going to naturally approach challenges, the 50% fix, are naturally going to avoid that very same challenge. And they're unaware that they process the world differently. They may not understand what mindsets that they have.
And so one of the reasons why I love focusing on mindsets, because when we do this, we help people awaken to themselves at a level that's deeper than they've ever gone before. We are starting to make these previously non-conscious mindsets become conscious to them. And as they become conscious to their mindsets, then they become empowered to do something about them, to change them if they need to and as they shift their mindsets more towards the positive, they're going to unlock greater success across their life, their work and their leadership.
Steve Rush: So superb and I think most people listening to this will be familiar with the terminology of growth mindset and fixed mindset, but due to your extensive time and research. You have taken it another level deeper have not you? You have found out some different dynamics to mindset; tell us a little bit about that?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, so when I first started to come across research studies on mindsets and saw that they had powerful effects on how we think, learn and behave. My first question became, well, what mindsets do I need to have? And I literally, I do what an academic shouldn't do, but I did what most normal people do is I went to Google and I type in Google. What mindsets do I need to have to be successful? And I start pulling up dozens and dozens of articles and what I'm finding across all of these articles that I'm pulling up is that the vast majority of these articles, aren't even talking about mindsets, they're talking about behaviours. And so this led me, okay, I really want to come up with an answer to this question, what mindsets do I need to have?
And so I then went to the academic literature and I opened the flood gates. Just to try to find any study that is out there on mindsets, and what I found is that mindsets are being studied across psychology, education management and marketing. And they have been for the last 30 years, but across each of these different disciplines and domains. They are focusing on their own pet mindsets or their pet set of mindsets. And so what I've done in terms of my work. Is I have just pulled all of these different mindsets together into one framework, and so I focus on four different sets of mindsets. Each of these sets range on a continuum from negative to positive, which allows us when we understand these different mindsets. It allows us to identify where we fall along each of these continuums, are we on the more negative side? Are we on the positive side? So where are we currently at and where do we need to go in terms of shifting our mindsets to unlock greater success.
Steve Rush: I never really thought about the concept of behaviours versus mindset, but they are completely different. And now you've just mentioned that you're incredibly right to point out that people do get behaviours and mindset mix up, don’t they? Behaviours is the effect of a mindset, right?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, so behaviours is largely driven by our mindset. So let me give you another example here. If we've got a closed mindset, so this is another continuum that I focus on. A closed versus open mindset. We've got a closed mindset. We generally think that what we know is best, and when we think that what we know is best, our primary focus becomes on being right. And when our primary focus is on being right, then that shapes our behaviour.
So we're going to be the one that's quick to provide answers. We are going to be the one that is quick to shut down others ideas, particularly if they differ from ours, because we are going to be inclined to see these different perspectives and even disagreements as challenges and as threats. But if we foundationally have an open mindset, which means that we believe that we can be wrong, instead of believing that what we know is best, our focus is no longer on being right. It is focused on finding truth and thinking optimally. And when our focus is on finding truth and thinking optimally, then our behaviours change. We shift from being the one that wants to provide all the answers to being the one who's asking all the questions and inviting feedback, inviting new perspectives, because that's the only way that we're going to ensure that we're thinking optimally and that we're finding truth. And so this is just hopefully another example that paints a picture that our mindsets, our mental lenses, that we wear. Shape how we process in our world and shape how we behave in our world.
Steve Rush: That is a great metaphor. Those mental lenses that we wear. Because that is how you would see then, the world that is presented to you. Right?
Ryan Gottfredson: For sure. Do you care if I give another example, that has been pretty powerful for me.
Steve Rush: Yeah, please do.
Ryan Gottfredson: Okay, so, and this was originally introduced to me by one of Brene¢ Brown books, Rising Strong, and in her book, she asked the question, do you think others in general are doing the best that they can? And in prior to reading this book, I'll be honest with you. My answer to that question would be, no, I did not think that others were doing the best that they can. And one of the places where I saw this in my life is when I would come across a homeless person, asking for assistance.
And that's pretty common here in California, where I'm at. In fact, I learned that half of the United States homeless population is in California, and so this means it's not too uncommon for me to pull up to the street corner. And there's somebody standing there asking for assistance. Well, when I would see them as not doing their best, and this is a form of what I call an inward mindset, then I was really quick to be critical of them. That is how I would process this. I would think, what are you doing, asking for my hard-earned money when you are just standing there, why don't you do something more productive? And I would be less inclined to help them or navigate that situation in a way that's aligned with my most ideal self. But when I read this book by Brene¢ Brown and it led me to ask the question, what if I saw this person as doing the best that they can?
And, and as soon as I asked that question, are they doing the best that they can? I quickly grow empathetic because that leads me to ask another question. What in the world has happened in their life that has led them to believe that this is the best way to live? And so when I look at these homeless people through this new lens, I no longer am critical of them. I am very sensitive to what has gone on in their life and I am much more inclined to help them and to navigate that situation closer to my ideal self. And so this was a huge change for me, just a small change in terms of how I saw them as not doing their best versus doing their best. Changed how I thought about them and how I behaved towards them, and I did the same thing, goes with leaders.
So we've probably all had leaders who saw us as not doing our best and we've had other leaders who see us as doing our best, and depending upon that lens, that they looked through. Shaped how they interacted with us.
Steve Rush: Right, and there's a very similar parallel I talk to my clients here, which is on the principle that every leader's action has a positive intent. Now the landing of the action may be very different than it is intended, but the intent is driven from a place of positivity, either for them or their organization. And it's the same principle with mindset, I guess, if what you just described.
Ryan Gottfredson: No, for sure. And you bring up such a fantastic point because when across these four different sets of mindsets is, there are desires that are associated with the negative mindsets and other desires that are associated with the positive mindset.
Let me maybe if I could just let me give you four different desires and I'm going to pose the question to you, which is, tell me if these desires are desires that society in general suggest our desires that we should have. Is that okay?
Steve Rush: Go for it.
Ryan Gottfredson: All right.
Steve Rush: Yeah, let's do it.
Ryan Gottfredson: Okay, so here is the four desires, and again. Tell me if you think society suggests that we should have these desires. So they are a desire to look good, the desire to be right, the desire to avoid problems and a desire to get ahead. Would you say that society suggests that these are good desires?
Steve Rush: I would say that would be a fair assumption from what I observed, yeah.
Ryan Gottfredson: Right. I mean, I feel the same way because I mean. These are very justifiable desires. Who wants to look bad, be wrong, have problems and get passed up.
Well, nobody does. I think the kicker here is we need to ask ourselves the question. When we have these desires, where is our focus? So if we are focused on looking good, being right, avoiding problems and getting ahead. Our focus is primarily on ourselves, and these are the four desires that are attached to the negative mindsets. And I think a lot of us get here because it's very easy to justify. And often, because we just don't understand that there's higher order desires to have. So on the positive mindset side, instead of having a desire to look good, we have a desire to learn and grow. Instead of a desire to be right, we have a desire to find truth and think optimally. Instead of a desire to avoid problems, we have a desire to reach goals. And instead of a desire to get ahead, we have a desire to lift others. And across these two sets on the negative side, when we have these self-focused desires, and what I called self-protection mode. But when we shift over to the other side, the more positive side, we move into what I call as organization advanced mode or contribution mode. And so, what you said is that people act with intent for either for their own personal benefit and when they're in self-protection mode or for the betterment of the group around them, in contribution mode. And if we can awaken to these fundamental mindsets and their desires, then we could get a better sense of how we are operating. And he quality of how we're processing. Are we in self-protection mode or are we in this organization advance or contribution mode? Does that make sense?
Steve Rush: That is awesome. Yeah. I love it. It makes loads of sense. It is filling lots of my thinking gaps as we are kicking this through, so that is great stuff. within the research you've kicked around. You also stumble across and have called out promotion mindset and outward mindset. What does that refer to?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, let me start with this continuum that deals with prevention versus promotion. So on the prevention mindset side; this is when we have a desire to avoid problems. On the promotion sides, when we have a desire to reach goals and to make these ideas come to life. Let me share an analogy. If we are a ship captain in the middle of the ocean and we have a prevention mindset. Our number one focus is on not sinking, so we don't want any problems to occur. We don't want to take any risks. We don't want to rock the boat, and when we have this mindset and we see a storm coming towards us on the horizon, because we don't want to end up in the bottom of the ocean. Our natural inclination is to run from the storm and go to a place of safety. But we've got to ask ourselves, is that place of safety that we run to maybe a Harbour or a port.
Was that the destination that we originally set out for? Well, usually not. Well, those were the promotion mindset on the other hand. It is not that they are not concerned about sinking because they are, but their focus is different. Their number one focus is on reaching a destination and I am making progress towards it. And so when the storm comes on the Verizon rather than immediately run from it, they ask themselves, does this storm stand between me and where I want to go? And if the answer is yes, then they prepare to take on the storm and they're become willing to take the risks of going towards the storm, braving the winds and the currents of the sea, because they know that that's the only way to get to the destination that they chose. And so effectively, those are the prevention mindset end up going the course of least resistance.
And they operate in a rather comfort focused way as those with the promotion mindset that become willing to do the difficult things to reach goals. And they're much more purpose centred.
Steve Rush: And it is not about taking more risk or being Maverick, either, is it? It is just about being focused in one direction versus another. Right?
Ryan Gottfredson: For sure. I mean, I don't have a podcast myself, but I'm on a decent number of podcasts. I look at podcast hosts like yourself, and I am thinking, man. Why would somebody start a podcast? It is a lot of work to do it. I mean, if I was going the comfort route, I would never start up a podcast. The only reason why I would start up a podcast is if that was one-step in a larger destination that I am seeking, then in order to get to that destination, starting up a podcast is maybe the most important thing that I can do. Now, I think every podcast is a little bit different, but whenever I am talking to somebody like yourself. I am thinking, man, this person has got to be promotion minded. Cause if they were not, they would never start up a podcast. I don't know. Does that resonate with you?
Steve Rush: Yes it does. It for sure resonates. So if we start to think about how our mindsets can help us, it not only having the right mindset will help us unlock performance in what we do, but also there are some medical implications in having the right mindset too, aren't there?
Ryan Gottfredson: There is and this is where the science is super fascinating. Is not only does our mindset shape how we think, learn and behave, but it also shapes the physiology of our body. Let me give you an example of a research study that was done, and so in this research study, they went to a group of financial professionals that were all stressed out and this actually occurred near the last economic collapse about 10 years ago. And they broke these financial professionals into two groups and they showed one group, a three minute video about how stress is debilitating. They showed another group, a three-minute video about how stress is enabling. And these are both backed by science around stress and then they tracked their engagement, their performance, and their blood pressure over the next two weeks. And after two weeks, what they found is that those who saw the stress is enabling video had higher engagement, higher performance and lower blood pressure. One of many studies that showing that just how we see our world. Not only shapes how we think about our world and even behave in our world, but how our body actually processes our world. Pretty cool stuff.
Steve Rush: Really fascinating research, isn't it?
Ryan Gottfredson: Oh yeah.
Steve Rush: So if I’m a leader listening to this and I am thinking. I have a bunch of people who are in my charge, who I want to support, grow, develop, and mentor. How would I start that journey on evolving and helping them evolve their mindset?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, great question. I mean, it is a little bit tricky because for most of us, we are not conscious of our mindsets and when we are not conscious of our mindsets. 1, that makes it difficult to introspect about them. 2, is most people don't know what mindsets are even out there. I mean, when I ask groups, can anybody identify a mindset that they need to have to be successful? The two most common answers that I get is no answer or positive mindset. Which I think positive mindsets is a good answer, but it is also a really vague answer, and so when we don't even know what mindsets are out there, we don't have labels to mindsets. There is no way we are going to ever be able to introspect about that. If a leader in the organization wants to help their leaders or employees to awaken to their mindsets, the most foundational aspects about themselves, I think the first thing that they need to do. Is they need to help them learn the language of mindsets.
They need to put labels to mindsets and help them understand these different sets of mindsets. And that's one of the reasons why I love talking about this is because we're just giving people our language now, it gives them the opportunity to introspect about their mindsets. And then in addition to that, and hopefully help make it easier for folks is I've created a mindset assessment of people could take. It is only 20 questions; it is free on my website at ryangottfredson.com but what it does is after answering these 20 questions, they get results on the quality, their mindsets, relative to 10,000 other people who have taken the mindset assessment. So not only does the results of the assessment, give them these labels and descriptions of the mindsets. It also helps them to awaken to their current quality of their mindset. And when we understand where we are, and we understand where we want to go in terms of shifting our mindsets, then we become empowered to get there. The results also have a guidance on activities that people can engage in to activate and strengthen their mindset so that they come to rely upon their more positive mindsets as they go throughout their day-to-day lives.
Steve Rush: And it is fair to say as well, that mindsets will shift based on scenarios too, right?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah. Great point, so how we have the mindsets that we have now, and I think it's interesting to point this out that most of us probably just intuitively think that how we see the world is the best way to see the world. I mean, if we thought we could see the world in a better way, we would have done so already. So we have just got to, 1, we've got to awaken to these different mindsets and as we do so, as I mentioned, we become empowered to shift these to the positive.
And so part of what shifts shapes our mindsets is. 1, our life's experience up until now and then 2, the current culture in which we operate within. So if we are working in an environment that is highly competitive, we are going to be inclined to self-protect. If we are operating in an environment that is very collaborative, we are going to be inclined to organization advance and to contribute, and so our mindsets are shaped by our environments but we aren't at the mercy of those environments. So regardless of our circumstances, we can always be intentional about the mindsets that we want to bring to those circumstances.
Steve Rush: Got it, and therefore, I guess there is probably a propensity to have a certain kind of mindset that is almost like a core mindset. Is that fair?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, and this is where I think, as we went through those four different desires on the negative side, on the positive side, and we said that society suggests. That it is good to be focused on looking good, being right, avoiding problems and getting ahead. I mean, society as a whole is essentially incentivizing more the negative mindset. And I think that one of the reasons why more people don't have positive mindsets. In fact, across the 10,000 people who have taken my mindset assessment, only 5% are in the top four tile for all four sets of these mindsets, so most of us have gotten some mindset work to do.
Steve Rush: Right, That is interesting alone, isn't it? I suspect those 5% that are in those top core tile are the ones that have high levels of self-awareness, who practice being aware to their mindsets too.
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah and that is what I found is, as I have talked to some of these folks that are there. Is one, they have invested a lot in themselves and in deepening their self-awareness, they seem to be consistent learners. Also, one of the things that I found is that these folks have generally they either, or because of the world that they shaped around them, they have created a world around them that incentivizes these more positive desires. So if there is somebody, or if there is a context that is really draining on them. They realize the negative effect that that might have on their mindsets. And they try to get into a better place, a better state of mind. So they are generally much more intentional about the context and the environments that they play within. And so one of the things that I found is. I do coaching with leaders is the leaders that have a tendency to have more of the negative mindsets. It is just part of an observation is that those that have the more negative mindset generally were raised in an environment where they did not feel very safe. Those that have the more positive mindsets, they were generally raised in environments where they did feel safe. And that isn't to say that we, can't shift our mindsets as we go older. It is just, when we are in a safe environment; we are more inclined to take on the positive mindsets just naturally.
Steve Rush: Right, so lack of safety equals more prevention, more safety equals more promotion?
Ryan Gottfredson: For sure. Yeah, because we feel this Liberty in this ability to go beyond our current station, as opposed to just want to self-protect.
Steve Rush: Got it.
Ryan Gottfredson: Yup.
Steve Rush: So now I am going to turn the lens a little at you, and not only have you researched, spend lots of time thinking about leadership. We want you to think about leadership mindset hacks. So if you were to share your top leadership mindset hacks for our listeners, what would they be? Ryan.
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, great question. I think the first place that I would do. I would take the mindset assessment. The second one that I would do is, and let me just share with you a personal story on this, and I think one of the reasons why I focus on mindsets is I probably need the mindset work just as much as anybody else. And as I look back on my adult life, I primarily had a prevention mindset. I was focused on just playing it safe, I did not want to be an entrepreneur. I never wanted to take on any debt and right about the time when I started to do my deep dive into the research on mindsets, I had a CEO give me a book and he says. This book is going to change your life and the book is called The Five Minute Journal.
And I look at the title and I look at him and I'm very gracious. Thank you very much for giving this book. But in my head, I'm thinking there is no way in hell I'm journaling. Like this is not going to happen. Right? And so I bring the book home and I opened it up and sure enough, it's just five minutes a day. In the morning, it is inviting me to ask three questions. What are three things that are grateful for? What are three things that would make today amazing and fill in some self-affirmations. And I decide, I'll give this a shot. I will, do it for two weeks. And if something happens great, if not, I'll just toss it in the trash, and so I started doing this and every day, as I answered that question, what are three things that would make today
What that was doing, was activating my promotion mindset. And as I did this repeatedly over time, my promotion mindset became stronger and stronger and I became focused less and less on, how do I just kind of make today, go by easily and more about how do I make today Amazing. How do I make today better than yesterday? How do I make this week better than last week? And so after doing this for the course of several weeks, I felt the shift over to a promotion mindset and as I made that shift, well, that's when I decided I want to start up my own consulting business. I want to start doing public speaking. I took on debt to start my business, and then I decided to write my book. If you would have asked me three years ago, if I would have ever thought that I would be having this conversation with you. Talking to a guy across the pond and just having had a book that's hit the wall street journal and USA today, bestseller list, I would have said, you're crazy.
I don't see how that's ever a possibility, but that was only because I was looking at my world through a prevention mindset, as I shift to a promotion mindset. Well, I started to think and operate in very different ways, leading to us having this conversation.
Steve Rush: Mindset habits then.
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, so that is one of the keys and if you take my assessment for each of the different sets of mindsets, I identify different resources and activities that people can engage in. And if we could create a habit of activating and stimulating our positive mindsets, those will become the dominant mindsets that we rely upon as we navigate in our world.
Steve Rush: Super. Next thing we want to kick around is what we call Hack to Attack. So this will be a time where things haven't worked out for you, maybe something that's gone terribly wrong, or we've screwed up at it. We call it Hack to Attack, where we have used this as a lesson in our life and our work as a positive thing, or a positive force for the future. What would be your hack to attack?
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah, great question. Early into my entrepreneurial venture. One of the things that I decided I wanted to try my hand out because I had seen other people who have been successful with this and I wanted to create an online course. And so I decided to create a somewhat of a quick and dirty online course, just to kind of learn how to do it. And I soaked up a, you know, a fairly sizable amount of financial capital to invest in learning how to do this and bringing it to life. And I brought it to life and I probably ended up selling only 10 courses, if that, right.
So from the outside perspective, this was a colossal failure but and part of this is partly cause I'm trying to take a growth mindset towards this. I don't look at that situation as a failure because I look back on that and I think, Oh, I'm so glad that I went through that experience because I learned a lot. I learned that I was not in the right position to create an online course. I learned what it takes to create an online course. I learned what I need to do to build a stronger foundation so that when I want to roll out an online course, it is much more successful. And so that was about two years ago. Fast forward till now is during the COVID-19 shutdowns is I've created an online course called High Octane Mindsets, which is designed to be the deepest and most comprehensive course on mindsets today and is designed to help people transform their lives, to get unstuck and blast towards a brighter future. And so now I've just been rolling this out over the last couple of weeks, and now I'm in a position where I'm much more successful because of the lessons that I learned previously.
Steve Rush: Super lessons to have and helping you in your work today.
Ryan Gottfredson: Yeah.
Steve Rush: So Ryan, the last thing we want to do is do a bit of time travel with you and we affectionately take our folk back to bump into themselves metaphorically when they are 21. What would be the advice that you would give Ryan when he was 21?
Ryan Gottfredson: Oh man, I could give a lot of advice, but the primary thing would be that you've got to focus on mindset. I mean, I vividly remembered this experience when I was 21 and I set a new year's resolution for myself that year. And the new year's resolution was essentially to improve my social life.
So I had just transferred over to a new university and I just wanted to make more friends and have a more, more social experience. And all of the goals that I set for myself for my new year's resolutions were around behaviours. Here are the things that I am going to do. Well, what I was overlooking was my mindset, and at the time, I did not have very positive mindsets. I had a fixed, closed, prevention and inward mindset. And so while I felt like I tried really hard on changing my behaviours, but I just didn't feel like it led to any positive results. And what I didn't realize at the time was, and I kind of gave up on goal setting because of this, because it was a really frustrating experience for me. The reason why it was so frustrating is because I was overlooking mindsets. I could change or try to change my behaviours all day long.
But if my prevailing mindset stayed the same, I'm going to continue getting the same results.
And that a much more natural way of developing ourselves is to not focus on behaviours, but to focus on the underlying mindsets and as we shift our mindsets forward, naturally our thinking and our behaviour and our success will follow. And so if I could go back to myself at 21, I would say, wake up to your mindsets and focus there and your personal development efforts, because it's going to be so much more natural and so much more effective. And that is not going to be as a frustrating experience as what you tried to do, really [Inaudible 00:40:27]
Steve Rush: Great advice and you certainly stirred my mindset today. So I will be heading over to take that assessment, let me tell you official.
Ryan Gottfredson: All right.
Steve Rush: Now, folks have been listening to this. So those with a growth, open and promotion mindset will be thinking, how can I find out more about the work that Ryan is doing at the moment? Where would you like to find out a little bit more about what you are doing?
Ryan Gottfredson: The best place to goes is my website. So that is ryangottfredson.com there you will find information where you can take the mindset assessment for free. You will find information about my book. I have a bunch of promotional giveaways associated with my book. You can learn about my online course. I've also got a tool that's called a digital mindset coach, which taps into the neuroscience behind mindsets to help people shift their mindsets more towards the positive. So whole bunch of resources that are there to help people awaken to and strengthen their mindsets, so that is the best place. Second best place is probably LinkedIn, so if anybody wants to connect with me on LinkedIn would be happy to do so.
Steve Rush: Super and we will also put the links to the mindset assessment, your website, and indeed, to the book, SUCCESS MINDSETS in our show notes as well.
Ryan Gottfredson: Perfect.
Steve Rush: Ryan it has been super chatting to you today. It has been really thoughtful. You have stimulated huge amounts of thinking in me and I am sure that is the case for our listeners too. So I just wanted to say on behalf of The Leadership Hacker Podcast, thanks for being on the show.
Ryan Gottfredson: Hey, thanks for having me on and thanks for being willing to dive into mindset.
Steve Rush: I genuinely want to say heartfelt thanks for taking time out of your day to listen in too. We do this in the service of helping others, and spreading the word of leadership. Without you listening in, there would be no show. So please subscribe now if you have not done so already. Share this podcast with your communities, network, and help us develop a community and a tribe of leadership hackers.
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