Biggest Challenges in Business and Leadership according to Mahan Teymouri

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Mentality, Skills and Personality are the Keys to Success

As a prominent entrepreneur in the field of education in Iran, Mahan Teymouri has been working in the field of financial and economic education in Iran for years. In a recent virtual conference held jointly with New York Times Best Selling Author, Darren Hardy, Mr. Teymouri addressed the pertinent issues of mentality, personality and skill with regards to management and leadership. Sharing his 30-month research on management strategies, leadership and management models in Iran, Mr. Teymouri sought to empower the audience to achieve success. 

Humble Beginnings 

The drive to earn a better income and serve the people of the world led Mahan Teymouri to leave his small town and start life anew in Tehran. Facing many challenges and spending the first years of his new life in Tehran living in a small room behind an elevator, Mr. Teymouri started his first business: a bookstore. 


The bookstore grew rapidly and became one of the top bookstores in Iran, due to the extensive services and Mahan’s creative problem solving skills. Setting his sights on the bigger picture, Mr. Teymouri pursued his main interest of lecturing in economics and finance. This led to the start of the Mahan Teymouri Organization. Today, Mr. Teymouri has the largest educational holdinging in the Middle East in the field of financial intelligence and is considered one of the top managers in the country. 

The Right Mindset

To be a great leader, one will invariably need the right mindset. Mindsets are the mental lenses that dictate what information a person takes in and uses to make sense of and navigate the situations they encounter. In psychology this is referred to as a schema. These cognitive frameworks explain why two different people who encounter the same situation process and respond to it very differently. When applied to leadership, one person might see a situation as threatening to their authority, while another views it as an opportunity to learn and develop. 


When leadership development efforts ignore cognitive frameworks, they ignore how leaders potentially see and interpret problems and opportunities. There are four distinct cognitive frameworks that can affect the leader’s ability to engage with others, navigate change and perform leadership roles. 

Growth versus Fixed Mindsets

The growth mindset is defined by a belief that people, including oneself, can change and improve. It is a positive mindset that encourages growth and development. Decades of research indicated that a growth mindset primes individuals to take on challenges and adopt the most effective problem-solving strategies. Conversely a fixed mindset leaves no room for growth. 

Learning versus Performance Mindsets

The learning mindset is geared towards motivation and increasing one’s competence and mastering new skills. Leaders with a learning mindset are mentally primed to increase their competence, engage in deep-level learning strategies and exert more effort. Characterised as persistent, adaptable and willing to cooperate, leaders with a learning mindset tend to perform at a higher level. The performance mindset is geared towards gaining farovable judgements about one’s competence. Leaders with performance mindsets may find it harder to seek out feedback and adapt. 

Deliberative Versus Implemental Mindsets

The deliberative mind has a heightened receptiveness to information. They try to ensure that they think and act as optimally as possible. Leaders with an implemental mindset are oriented towards implementing decisions, which can close them off to new ideas and information. When compared, leaders with the deliberative mindset tend to make better decisions as they tend to be less biased in the processing of information and decision making. The implemental mind gets things done, but the deliberative mind thinks things through thoughtfully. 

Promotion Versus Prevention Mindsets

The prevention mindset is focussed on avoiding loss and problems at all costs. Goals are typically oriented around meeting responsibilities, while taking a few risks as possible. Conversely the promotion mindset is focussed on winning and gains. Leaders with this mindset are more prone to positive thinking, are more open to change and demonstrate higher levels of task performance and innovative behaviors. 

In Conclusion

Understanding cognitive frameworks that shape the way we think and view the world is an important element and should especially be prioritized in leadership development. Mindset development that targets growth, learning, deliberative and promotion mindsets can help leaders cultivate their thinking and learning behaviours by providing a different lens through which to view the world.