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  • Writer's picturejoel

Honestly, Do You Believe You Can Design a Great Team?: Model #1: Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset:

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Mental Thought Model #1: Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset:


Mindset- Inward awareness of my personal potential.

Carol Dweck's book titled Mindset is a groundbreaking book that explores the concept of mindset and its impact on human behavior and achievement. In her research, Dweck discovered that individuals with a growth mindset achieve more significant success than those with a fixed mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that abilities and qualities can be developed and improved through hard work, perseverance, and dedication, while a fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence and talent are innate and unchangeable.


Dweck's research on mindset began in the 1980s when she was studying motivation and achievement in schoolchildren. In one study, Dweck and her colleagues gave a group of students a series of easy problems to solve and then praised some of them for their intelligence and others for their effort. The researchers then gave the students a more challenging set of problems and found that those who were praised for their effort performed better than those praised for their intelligence. The students who were praised for their intelligence became discouraged when faced with a challenge, while those praised for their effort were motivated to keep trying.



Fixed Mindset:


Dweck realized that the way individuals perceive their abilities can have a profound impact on their motivation and achievement. Individuals with a fixed mindset tend to avoid challenges and give up easily when faced with difficulties. They believe that failure reflects their inherent lack of ability, which can lead to a fear of taking risks and trying new things. Individuals with a fixed mindset may feel threatened by the success of others and are more likely to cheat, lie or take shortcuts that lead to a more desirable outcome that maintains their perceived image and self-esteem.


Growth Mindset:


A growth mindset is the belief that our abilities can be continually developed through hard work and dedication sustained over time. People with a growth mindset see challenges as opportunities for growth and embrace failure as a learning experience. They are not afraid to take risks and are always looking for ways to improve themselves. For some it can be an intense curiosity for learning and exploring. When you become obsessed with the unknown and focused on how the future can be molded and improved to meet more people’s needs, your potential is nearly unlimited.


A growth mindset is essential when it comes to setting and achieving personal goals and benchmarks. When we approach our goals with a growth mindset, we are more likely to persevere in the face of obstacles, take risks, and learn from our mistakes. This attitude allows us to focus on the process of learning from our mistakes leading us to achieving our goals rather than just the result, which can be incredibly motivating and fulfilling. This shift in thinking can have profound implications for how we approach our lives, our relationships, and our work.


Mindsets in Recruiting:


A leader's mindset will affect their ability to identify and recruit great talent. They will have a powerful effect on the culture, productivity, and overall success of their team, and it will greatly influence the type of individuals they attract to join their organization. Leaders with a growth mindset tend to be open-minded, curious, and willing to learn from others, which allows them to see the potential in individuals who may not fit the traditional mold. They recognize that talent and potential come in many forms and are not limited to academic achievement or technical skills. Leaders with a growth mindset tend to attract and retain top talent because they create a culture of learning, development, and innovation. They understand that their team members are not fixed in their abilities, and they encourage them to take risks, try new things, and learn from failures. This approach fosters an environment that values growth, creativity, and progress. Your team needs you to help them get past their own fixed mindset. That’s why you have the title of a leader. Leaders go first.


Leaders with a fixed mindset tend to attract individuals who value their skills and abilities and are not open to growth and development. It’s easier for a person with a fixed mindset to work for a leader also possessing a fixed mindset. Leaders with a fixed mindset may be more inclined to focus on traditional markers of success, such as job titles and experience, rather than the potential of an individual. They are focused more on immediate external rewards such as status and recognition, rather than learning and growth that leads to future success.

Cultivating a Growth Mindset:


To cultivate a growth mindset, leaders should focus on valuing effort and resilience over innate talent and intelligence. They should encourage their team members to take the initiative, try new things, and learn from failures, rather than focusing on avoiding mistakes and maintaining appearance at all costs. By creating an environment that supports growth and development, leaders can attract individuals who are motivated by the intrinsic rewards of learning and progress.


Leaders should also prioritize collaboration and teamwork, which creates a sense of community and a shared vision. By working together towards a common goal, team members can leverage each other's strengths to achieve greater success. This approach also promotes a culture of learning and growth, as individuals are encouraged to learn from each other and build upon their collective knowledge and skills.


Joel Smith

Business Coach, Author and Entrepreneur

This article is a section out of the book Team Design: Building Great Teams By Attracting the Right People. Download the Free PDF version.




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