It’s All in Your Head: Why the Right Mindset is Key for Scaling Up


Expanding your business, or “scaling up,” is an exciting prospect: the thought of enlarging your footprint, generating more capital and receiving positive investor attention is motivating and thrilling.

But when you finally reach that period of rapid growth, it’s easy to get caught up in the speed of propelling your business forward, and lose sight of some important, internal aspects of your organization; namely, fostering the proper mindset within your team.

According to Robert Sutton, professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, successful scaling isn’t just about creating the biggest possible footprint – it’s about creating the right mindset. The most successful companies take time to foster the proper mindset of excellence in their team, both before and during the scaling process.

In order to spread a mindset of excellence toward prosperous growth, excellence must actively spread from within the organization. Productive leaders must disseminate their motivation from the top down so that everyone, regardless of his or her role, is directed toward a common goal. This collaborative participation encourages people to put positive pressure on one another, and ensures that tasks are completed properly. If anyone in the organization behaves poorly, negatively, or disruptively—don’t hesitate to cut them lose. Those people are poisonous and are easily detrimental to business expansion.

Beyond affecting a team’s motivation, fostering excellence is also important in the completion of practical tasks. As businesses expand, there is always more to be done—but leaders must always keep efficiency and employee capability in mind. People can only handle a certain cognitive load of responsibility, and when that load gets too heavy, productivity decreases and tasks are done improperly. By creating several small teams within an organization that deal with a few, specific responsibilities, efficiency will remain high and excellence will follow.

Most importantly, the right mindset will teach employees that businesses don’t scale up overnight. Excellence takes time to foster and achieve. That means that tasks should be completed properly, even if that means taking a little extra time to do so.

About the author: Makena Owens

Makena Owens is an English Literature major at Yeshiva University. Her mission is to somehow combine her interests in history, tech, literature and design into one jam-packed career, but for now she’s satisfied with their exclusivity. Hailing from the not-so-rainy city of Seattle, Washington, Makena has a love-hate relationship with New York City, but right now it’s verging more towards love.

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