What I believe about my abilities and potential fuels my behavior and predicts my success as a person and a leader. I’m dedicated to staying in shape. I do CrossFit and Yoga. Why wouldn’t I also tune-up the internal dialogue that shapes every aspect of my life?
Choosing a growth mindset “…creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Its hallmark is the conviction that human qualities like intelligence and creativity, and even relational capacities like love and friendship, can be cultivated through effort and deliberate practice. Not only are people with this mindset not discouraged by failure, but they don’t actually see themselves as failing in those situations — they see themselves as learning.”
Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.
I return to the Dweck visual often.
Dweck’s visual is inside Maria Popova’s post: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives. I encourage you to follow Maria and her blog, Brain Pickings. This blog is “an inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more.” The nuggets of insight inspire and delight.
I stress the inside game because we are more impactful leaders and peers when we wire ourselves for growth. In the group setting, the power of peers is boundless when we choose at attitude of growth.
Caroline Anderson, psychologist, Olympian and founder of Performance Edge Psychology coaches that paying less attention to negative thoughts frees you up “…to enter a state of observation rather than thinking, focus rather than judgment.” This helps you focus and enter the flow state.
- Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives by Maria Popova
- Some Reflections on The Inside Game by Caroline Anderson
- When Stress Is Good for You by Sue Shellenbarger
About Vistage Chair Kevin McKeown
Kevin is a trusted advisor to chief executives, founders, owners and executives. He is a seasoned Chair with two fully energized CEO groups. Kevin is building an equally dynamic third group focused on key executives. He’s enrolling high integrity candidates for the remaining seats now. Kevin’s entrepreneurial and C-level leadership roles range from early stage to Fortune 500 (Mitsubishi #118) firms. As LexBlog’s President, his team built the world’s largest professional blog network. As co-founder of HitHive, Inc., Kevin’s team brought digital music to cell phones. He also helped build and sell one of the first online department stores. Kevin has a JD from Villanova University and a Bachelors in English from University of Pittsburgh. He resides in downtown Seattle. To learn more about Kevin’s leadership Chair practice, go to his LinkedIn.