This blog was written by Microsoft Program Manager, Osborn Adu, as part of the Amplifying Black Voices blog series. Osborn walks us through how to apply a growth mindset to your work.
Growing up in Ghana, I was enthused about computers and technology but never owned one till I got to University. My primary school had only one computer, and even though my high school, St Augustine's College (some high schools are called colleges in Ghana) had a few more computers, they weren't enough for over 1,500 students. However, the lack of computers did not quell my interest but rather galvanized me to co-found a technology company and to pursue a career in tech.
I joined Microsoft after completing my MBA at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Joining an iconic company with such global impact and presence is a dream come true. I was so elated after I receiving my Microsoft offer that it was all I would talk about with my friends. I'm sure, it was quite annoying, but my dream for working at this iconic company with a big global impact was now realized.
It's now been over a year since I joined, and boy, it has been an experience. There've been highs and lows, good days and not so good days. However, my north star has been to apply a growth mindset to my job. After reading about the growth mindset from Satya Nadella's book "Hit Refresh", the concept resonated deeply with me. I had been applying those principles for most of my life without realizing it. See, I was very timid for most of my childhood, and after a moment of truth of not being able to speak to a girl I really liked at a party, I strived to leave my comfort zone. Since then, I have been on a path of self-improvement through exploring new interests and activities. According to Professor Dolly Chugh, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at New York University, "A growth mindset allows us to think of ourselves as a work-in-progress rather than premade good people, and to confront bias on both an individual and systemic level".
At Microsoft, my approach has been the same, I do not consider myself as a know-it-all but as a learn-it-all. Considering the vast amount of organizational, role-based information, and skills needed to excel in my role, a growth mindset is critical to the job.
Here are some ways I apply the principles:
Coming from Ghana, I am genuinely happy and excited to be part of such an amazing organization. Through applying growth mindset principles, I am looking forward to contributing and driving impact globally with Microsoft.
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