A number of years ago I was introduced to the work of Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck and her book, Mindset.  She defines “Mindsets” as “beliefs” about yourself and your most basic qualities, which can include intelligence, talents, personality, etc.  The fundamental question posed is, “Are these qualities simply fixed traits, carved in stone, or are they things you can cultivate throughout your life?”  Dweck proposes that the answer is self- driven depending on your mindset.  In her book she examined two mindsets; Fixed and Growth
Those with a “Fixed Mindset” believe their traits are given or have been fully developed.  There is very little that can change who and what they are or have become.  People with this mindset often worry about these traits and their adequacy.  They have something to prove to themselves and others.  When things go wrong, it is often because of someone else, or something out of their control.
Those with a “Growth Mindset” see their qualities as things that can be developed through their dedication and effort.  They understand that greatness is only accomplished through years of passionate practice and learning.  They will often seek feedback relative to their performance.  They will examine failure from a personal perspective.  What could they have done differently or better?  How can they improve upon their last performance?
In July’s Harvard Business Review Dweck expands on the mindset theory to consider what she calls, the Learning Mindset.  She begins the article with an interesting statement, “Right now the U.S. is not a nation of learners. People want to learn, but they underestimate what they can do.”  The article proposes that a commitment to the development of skills at every level (the school classroom to the workplace) will result in the development of students and employees that embrace a “Learning Mindset”, who will feel empowered, eager to learn, and motivated to take on new challenges.
All of this set the stage for my discovery of a piece prepared by the Center for Creative Leadership asking the question, “How Do You Respond to a New Idea”  The article introduces us to a proposed fourth mindset, “The Innovation Mindset”.  The author’s propose that a leader’s skill at using this mindset is critical as, “What a leader says and does when someone comes to them with an idea can either spur innovation — or stifle it.
Perhaps next week we can consider, “The Holiday Mindset”!   ?
Have a great week and Embrace the Challenge,