Elizabeth Hiza

Elizabeth Hiza

Chief marketing officer, Barnum Financial Group

OWN IT

A couple of years ago, when Elizabeth Hiza was chief of staff at Barnum Financial Group, she noticed a steady appetite from financial advisers at the firm for new ways to improve their work and build new skills.

“Advisers would always be asking, ‘What do you have that can help me grow my business and do better?’” she recalls. “It was almost like a request for something tangible, like a new product, and that was eating away at me.”

For Hiza, the “aha” moment came when her boss, Barnum Chief Executive Paul Blanco, tossed out the notion of presenting a “growth mindset” in preparation for an executive leadership meeting.

“I had never heard of that, so I Googled growth mindset and in that moment I was transformed,” she said. “Once I realized what it really meant, I was taken aback and became obsessed with it … With a growth mindset, you have all the power you need to be successful. You have everything within you, all the potential in the world.”

Hiza, now chief marketing officer, has evangelized the growth mindset across the 500-employee, $30 billion advisory firm.

“The biggest benefit is people are not afraid to try, and they’re not afraid to fail, and if people are not afraid to fail that opens the world of innovation,” Hiza said. “I’m not encouraging mistakes but fail fast. Now people are comfortable experimenting and if it fails, no big deal, we try something else.” — Jeff Benjamin