Doing SJP proud

Bartender: “Hey, how’s your evening going?”

Me: “Great!”

Me: “Wow that’s a lot of beers you have on tap! Must be 15”

Bartender: “20 actually”

Me: “Anything local?”

Bartender: “Actually yes, we have Brooklyn Brewery, Coney Island Lager, The Other Half”

Me: “That’s great! You know a lot of local beers can’t get into bars like this”

Bartender: “Huh?”

Me: “There’s a monopsony among distribution companies; it creates so many logistical challenges.”

Him: “…”

Me: “Microbreweries seem like a tough business! They get squeezed on both sides, with limited number of supplier as well! You need a lot of conviction to start one.”

Bartender: “…”

Me: “Yeah, and –“

Bartender: “Yep, the Other Half is a great IPA.” He wandered to the other end of the bar.

Sarah Jessica Parker would be proud.


The Short and Sweet Summary of “Growth Mindset”

Index Card Book Summaries: because most practical books can be summarized on an index card

Carol Dweck has taken the business world by storm by popularizing her success psychology book Mindset. I listened to the whole thing on Audible because I’m slightly OCD about completing books. I’ll share with you a little secret: the book is well summarized in a few lines, which follow.

There are only two types of mindsets

1. A growth mindset posits that you can grow and develop

2. A fixed mindset holds that how you are now is all you can achieve (i.e. is fixed)

The results and drivers of each mindset are listed in the table below.

Mindset Fixed Growth
World View You’re a finished product You’re a work in progress
Impact on Outcomes Regressive Progressive
Drivers Short term view, Stereotype threat Long term view, Constructive thinking about setbacks
Approach Haphazard, Uncontrolled, Reliance on raw talent Strategic, Tactical, Focused on taking charge of the process
Results Leads to short cuts, Inability to cope, Need to establish superiority Tunes out the negative, Cultivates character, Care about personal best

The book makes the compelling argument that people with a growth mindset are more successful in everything that they do. But how does the mindset of the managers and other authorities you work with factor into your ability to action a growth mindset? That will be saved for another post 🙂

Introducing Index Card Book Summaries

90% Unnecessary

Most avid readers of self improvement and business books will have noticed a common thread among all of them: they are overly padded. Watch the TED talk or listen to a podcast cameo by the author, and you’ll have absorbed 90% of the book content already. Naturally the anecdotes, statistics, and gritty details give more color and life to the author’s premises that support learning styles of every type. But for folks with limited time and considerable ground they’d like to cover in the practical learning department, I think an index card summary would suffice.

Why an Index Card?

Of course I am not the first to make the observation that authors add some cushion to their content in their endeavor to build a brand, substantiate a product, and look good on a shelf next to other books. Harold Pollack first made this now widely accepted observation about personal finance books in a now famed article. Of course his followers asked “Where’s the index card?” He replied with a photo of a handwritten index card summarizing all the key personal finance principles, which went viral. And, of course, his summary was soon padded out into a book: The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated.

Get ready to get to the punch line

In an effort to conveniently aggregate the latest wisdom and research for navigating our offices and lives, I am initiating a new series: the Index Card Book Summaries. As I continue to read these books that I think shouldn’t be books, I’ll share the pithy version of the key findings with you. Happy not reading!