Grow Your Mindset

The Mindset book was on my virtual bookshelf for a while and, I finally finished reading it. I wanted to share some notes that spoke to me as a founder & CEO and might speak to you as well.

In going through this book, I pulled out takeaways across all the chapters that I plan to re-read periodically. I give those to you now and highly recommend that you get the book. However, if you’ve only 5 minutes, read this instead.

I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners — Benjamin Barber

There are two worlds in the world of mindsets.

A fixed mindset is a world of fixed traits. The success is about proving you’re smart and validating yourself. In this world, failure is a bad word. Getting a bad grade, getting rejected — it means you’re not good at something. An effort is a bad thing; it means you’re not talented. Otherwise, you wouldn’t need it.

A growth mindset is about stretching yourself to learn something new and developing yourself. In this world, failure is not growing. Failure is not reaching for things you value. In this world, the effort is what makes you talented and smarter.

Which mindset do you have? A Few common traits of fixed and growth mindset people

  1. For fixed mindset thinkers,their intelligence is something fundamental value that they can’t change much. In contrast, a growth mindset thinker believes no matter how intelligent they’re; they can always change quite a bit.
  2. Fixed mindset thinks they’re a certain kind of person, and there is not much they can do to change that. A growth mindset believes they can always change the basic things about who they’re.
  3. A fixed mindset person is generally worried about how he will be judged. A growth mindset person is usually concerned about how he could be improving.
  4. A fixed mindset person is only interested in fields while she is doing well in those fields. A growth mindset person continues to show high-level interest even when she is not doing well. It makes them more determined.
  5. It’s not enough for fixed mindsets to be smart or successful; they must be flawless. They want to succeed perfectly and immediately. Growth mindsets know it takes time for potential to flower.
  6. For fixed mindsets, there is no way to become an eagle. You’re either one already or not. Becoming is better than being for growth mindsets.
  7. For fixed mindsets, revenge is redemption. They will choose other’s misery over their happiness. Growth mindsets don’t believe in revenge. For them it’s about understanding, forgiving, accepting and moving on.

The CEO Disease: Should they confront their shortcomings or should they create a world where they have none?

The public companies CEOs often face this dilemma — they can choose to focus on short-term strategies that will move the stock and make them look like a hero or decide to focus on long-term strategy, risking the temporary disapprovals of the Wallstreet and lead the long-term success of the company.

Fixed mindset CEOs often focus on short-term returns.

A fixed mindset CEO doesn’t believe in building a great management team. They think they need helpers to execute their visions. They think of themselves as geniuses and believe genius leaders don’t need a genius team. They want to look as big fish themselves.

Fixed mindset CEOs want to appear as a hero. They feel the need to prove to others and earn self-worth. It’s all about proving their genius. They want to surround themselves with news and people that favor them instead of listening to critical feedback.

When struggling, they deliver blame and excuses instead of delivering results. They fire people who are critical of them. They spend little to no time developing their team.

The characteristics of a growth mindset CEO islistening, crediting, nurturing, learning, toughness, and compassion.

They set the tone that the company is about growth and not self-importance.

They reward the team rather than individual geniuses.

They believe leadership is about growth and passion and not about one’s brilliance.

Closing thoughts: Just because someone can do something with little effort or training, it doesn’t mean others can’t do it. Perhaps they can do better with training. Sometimes people with a growth mindset stretch themselves too far that they achieve the impossible.