Have you ever been in a situation where you’re so scared you’re going to screw the whole thing up that you stop moving? Maybe you freeze because you’re out of your comfort zone and don’t know what to do next or even who to ask for help? And there was probably some type of performance aspect as well that really heightened the stakes, right? Like pitching a new idea to some investors or making a big financial decision in your personal life. It’s scary, because if you fail, there are real-world consequences for your actions.
Now imagine, you’re playing a game, even one of those crazy virtual reality games where you’re just trying to figure out how to play the darn thing. You explore, right? And maybe you fall off a few cliffs, but you start over again and try new things because you want to learn and you’re not really worried about performing well just yet. And while we know that mistakes in the real world can have some pretty awful consequences, we also know that people are more successful in the long run when they have a learning mindset. CEOs included.
At Gravity, we try to foster just that – a learning mindset. From a business perspective, this can be risky. You don’t want your employees running around, haphazard, trying new things and failing just for the sake of learning something in the process. This can waste time and resources. But, if think about the long term, when mistakes are made and people fail, they learn and they probably learn a heck of a lot more than if they succeeded in the first place.
Failing isn’t fun, but CEOs can’t be afraid to fail. And having a learning mindset can help offset that fear.
When we work with new hires to embody being their own CEO at Gravity, we cap the philosophy with a learning mindset because it’s what connects the other factors together. Without it, you might be slow to take initiative or you might play it safe and not think creatively like an entrepreneur. And a learning perspective can encourage you take responsibility of your mistakes because you’re not trying to hide anything in fear of punishment. Of course we want our employees to make as few mistakes as possible, but we also want them to learn from trying new things and taking risks because that’s how we push our organization forward.
When broken down, it might seem pretty simple to be a CEO at Gravity. And that’s exactly what we were striving for when we took on the challenge of exploring this topic. Broken down, we hope that new hires start to see the foundational pieces of owning their role and making decisions. We hope it empowers them to do more than they ever thought possible. If I had to give one piece of advice for new hires here, it would be to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, ask so many questions that you’re borderline annoying, and celebrate your success as well as your failures because either way you’ll learn something in the process.