My mother was a thorn (or two) in the sides of my elementary school teachers. I started school in 1952, the heyday of the IQ Test. The School District was going to give every student an IQ test and put them in their proper place, based on the results. My mother thought that was both stupid and scandalous.
“You think you can decide my children’s future potential based on a test they take at age six?”
Mom refused to sign the consent form. So I never took that IQ test in the first grade.
My teachers and the School District administrators thought that IQ (based on a simple test) was, essentially, destiny. That seemed to be the fashion of the times. My mother thought it was crazy.
But you’re reading this review to decide whether to buy and read and apply Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck so let’s cut right to the chase. If you want to be more successful, read this book. If you want to be a better boss or a better parent, read this book. Click here to check out a free, 4-minute video summary of the book.
OK, here’s what you’ll find the book. The quotes are from pages 6 – 7.
“For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”
The view you adopt for yourself is a “mindset.”
“Believing that your qualities are carved in stone—the fixed mindset—creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.”
Despite my mother’s best efforts, that was me. I was “such a bright boy” so I developed the idea that being smart defined me. That’s the fixed mindset. Because I was “smart” and that was good, I became super risk-averse. After all, if I failed at something (like knot tying in the Cub Scouts) it would only prove that I wasn’t “smart.” But Dweck says there’s another mindset, which she calls the “growth mindset.”
“In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.”
The good news for me is that I joined the Marines. The Marines didn’t give me any choice about trying new things. They expected me to learn, even though I would probably get things wrong before I got them right. It’s a lesson that’s stayed with me and made me more successful and made my life richer. It also gives me the experience to say that Dweck is right.
You can change your mindset.
You will have a more rewarding life if you adopt a growth mindset.
Then she gives you the tools to move to the growth mindset. There’s no facile promise that it will be easy and quick. In fact, Dweck points out that we’re not always in the same mindset.
If you’re in business, Dweck shows you Jack Welch, Lou Gerstner, and Anne Mulcahy as role models and demonstrates how to apply the lessons of this book in business.
If you read this book and put the lessons to work, you should reap benefits in every part of your life. You will be more successful and happier. You will be a better boss, one who develops people. You will be a better parent and friend, too.
If you want to be more successful, read this book. If you want to be a better boss or a better parent, read this book. Click here to check out a free, 4-minute video summary of the book.