A growth mindset and the grit to get back up matter most of all.
Carol Dweck wrote what is arguably the most important book for those charged with the care of others, at work and at home, when she distinguished a growth mindset from a fixed mindset.
A fixed mindset “believes their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents are just fixed traits.” They also take challenges to their work or conclusions as challenges to their very sense of self-worth.
A growth mindset, by contrast, understands failure as a motivator to work on developing their skills. Those with a growth mindset understand the importance of the word YET. I’m not great at math, yet. The subtext is clear: With effort and practice, I can be better.
Quick caution: many have trivialized the idea of the growth mindset. No one has it all the time and it takes work to develop the mental models to maintain a growth mindset.
Angela Duckworth studied grit. It is arguably the most important predictor of success in life. It is a far better predictor than strength or IQ. If you don’t have time for the book, here is her short six-minute Ted Talk.
The Japanese have an expression for this: Down 7, Up 8. If you’re charged with a leadership role and the continuous improvement of your organization, these are two mental models to embrace!
And the best news? You can develop both the growth mindset and your level of grit.
How will you show your grit in 2022?