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 🙂

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