There is always room to improve and continue to grow our skills and knowledge. The new book I read - Mindset, the new psychology of success, Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., was brought to me while I was reading this article last April 2017:Β Microsoft’s CEO Just Gave Some Brilliant Career Advice. Here It Is in 1 Sentence. This “1 Sentence” from Satya Nadella who got it by reading this book was:

“Don’t be a know-it-all; be a learn-it-all."

This quotation rang my bell, and this sound told me that I will really love this book.

Satya is very inspiring to me, he has this mindset and this leadership that I admire. Recently, for the end of FY17 and the beginning of FY18 (i.e last day of June 2017), as Microsoft employees, we received an internal email from him and he had this really great statement:

“Every day I ask myself if I am approaching my work with a growth mindset and more importantly recognizing all the fixed mindset moments that I can learn from."

Book cover of “Mindset, the new psychology of success”

On the front cover we could find what this book is going to deal with: “How we can learn to fulfill our potential for: parenting, business, school, relationships”. The author, based on personal and professional stories and illustrations by research studies, brings us throughout this book in a journey between two mindsets: fixed versus growth.

Here are some of the statements I have found really interesting to understand and illustrate how we could go from the first one to the second one.

Be smart/intelligent

Fixed Mindset πŸ‘Ž

  • Be smart is about being perfect right now.
  • Feel smart when they don’t make any mistakes, finish something fast and it’s perfect. When something is easy for her/him but not for other people.
  • You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.

Growth Mindset πŸ‘

  • Smart is about learning: confronting challenge and making Β progress.
  • When it’s really hard and I can do something I couldn’t do before or when I work on something a long time and I start to figure it out. It’s not about immediate perfection.
  • You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.

Success versus Failure (p. 33)

Fixed Mindset πŸ‘Ž

  • Success is being better than others. Failure is a condemnation.
  • The loss of one’s self to failure can be a permanent, haunting trauma.
  • Students who will have an academic test failure, will study less and consider cheating then.
  • Someone praising a student having an academic test success, will say: “you must be smart and so talented at this”.

Growth Mindset πŸ‘

  • Success is being your best self. Failure is an opportunity.
  • It could be a painful experience but it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with and learned from.
  • Students who will have an academic test failure, will study better and harder next time.
  • Someone praising a student having an academic test success, will say: “you must have worked really hard at this”.

Sports (p. 98)

Fixed Mindset πŸ‘Ž

  • You have certain level of ability in sports and you cannot really do much to change that level.
  • To be good at sports you need to be naturally gifted.
  • Success is about establishing superiority pure and simple.

Growth Mindset πŸ‘

  • How good you are at sports will always improve if you work harder at it.
  • To be successful in sports, you need to learn techniques and skills and them regularly.
  • Love to win, but what counted most for them is the effort they made even when they didn’t win.

Leadership (p. 132)

Fixed Mindset πŸ‘Ž

  • Leader are full of bitterness.
  • People have a certain fixed amount of management ability and they cannot do much to change it.
  • Concern about who is smart or dumb or their anxiety about disapproval for their ideas that open, productive discussion does not happen.

Growth Mindset πŸ‘

  • Leader are full of gratitude.
  • People can always substantially change their basic skills for managing other people.
  • Much more likely to state their honest opinions and openly express their disagreements as they communicated about their management decisions.

Negotiator (p. 137)

Fixed Mindset πŸ‘Ž

  • Negotiator ability, like plaster, is pretty stable over time.
  • The kind of negotiator someone is is very basic and it can’t be changed very much.
  • Good negotiator are born that way.

Growth Mindset πŸ‘

  • Negotiation ability is changeable and can be developed.
  • All people can change even their most basic negotiation qualities.
  • In negotiations, experience is a great teacher.

Managers (p. 137)

Fixed Mindset πŸ‘Ž

  • Culture of geniuses.
  • Simply look for existing talent.
  • They judge employees as competent or incompetent at the start and that’s that.
  • They do relatively little developmental coaching and when employees do improve they may fail to take notice, remaining stuck in their initial impression.

Growth Mindset πŸ‘

  • Culture of development.
  • Think it’s nice to have talent, but that’s just the starting point.
  • Are more committed to their employees development, and to their own.
  • They give a great deal more developmental coaching, they notice improvement in employees' performance, and they welcome critiques from their employees.

Organisational mindsets (p. 142)

Fixed Mindset πŸ‘Ž

  • When it comes to being successful, this company seems to believe that people have a certain amount of talent, and they can’t really do much to change it.
  • This company values natural intelligence and business talent more than any other characteristics.
  • People may express greater interest in leaving their company for another.
  • In this company there is a lot of cheating, taking shortcuts, and cutting corners.

Growth Mindset πŸ‘

  • This company genuinely values the personal development and growth of its employees.
  • People have far more trust in their company and a much greater sense of empowerment, ownership and commitment.
  • This company genuinely supports risk-taking and will support me even if I fail.
  • People are encouraged to be innovative, in this company, creativity is welcomed.

Relationships (p. 151)

Fixed Mindset πŸ‘Ž

  • They felt judged and labeled by the rejection. Personally labeled. Number one goal: revenge.
  • Your qualities are fixed, your partner’s qualities are fixed and the relationship’s qualities are fixed.
  • Expect everything good to happen automatically.
  • Expect magic, should just come naturally.
  • A could should share all of each other’s view.
  • They lived happily ever after.
  • When talk about conflicts they assign blame to their partner. Since the problem comes from fixed traits, it can’t be solved.
  • My partner is incapable of change. Nothing can improve our relationship.

Growth Mindset πŸ‘

  • It’s about understanding, forgiving and moving on. Number one goal: forgiveness.
  • All these things can be developed.
  • All - you, your partner and the relationship - are capable of growth and change.
  • Believe that a good, lasting relationship comes from effort and from working through inevitable differences.
  • Things are discussed, not assumed.
  • They worked happily ever after.
  • Can see partners’s imperfections and still think they have a fire relationship.
  • Lets you rise above blame, understand the problem and try to fix it, together.

Parents, teachers, coaches, etc. (p. 176)

Fixed Mindset πŸ‘Ž

  • You have permanent traits and I’m judging them.
  • Give their children a fixed mindset ideal, they are asking them to fit the mold of the brilliant, talented child, or deemed unworthy. There is no room for error.
  • Some kids are smart and some kids are dumb.
  • He talks often about all the things he can do and other children can’t.

Growth Mindset πŸ‘

  • You are a developing person and I’m committed to your development.
  • Give their children something they can strive for. They are also giving their children growing room, room to grow into full human beings who will make their contribution to society in a way that excites them.
  • At the dinner table each evening, you and your partner structure the discussion around the growth mindset, asking each child: what did you learn today? what mistake did you make that taught your something? what did you try hard at today?
  • Champs are the people who work the hardest. You can become a champ. Tomorrow tell me something you’ve done to become a champ.

One-pager graphic showing the differences between fixed versus growth mindsets.

The author concludes this book by providing some tips about “The journey to a (true) growth mindset”:

  1. Acknowledge that you have both mindsets: fixed and growth;
  2. Embrace your fixed mindset;
  3. Become aware of your fixed mindset triggers;
  4. Give your fixed mindset persona a name;
  5. Educate your fixed mindset.

As sportsman, leader, spouse, parent, coach, negotiator, speaker, friend, teammate, etc., I personally and professionally really appreciate this book and what it has brought, it brings and it’s going to bring to me and my growth mindset. It’s not about knowing all and be successful on everything… it’s more about how we can learn and adapt our thoughts and actions based on what we have worked (hard) on and finally how we continuously improve this process, our knowledge, etc. and how we are facing to new challenge, non-comfortable zone, and even failure…

Enjoy!