Barb Novak contributed this post. She is reading Mindset by Carol Dweck and sharing her thinking about every chapter. Click here to read more of Barb's posts about mindset.
Chapter 5 was about the impact of fixed and growth mindsets in business. The information wasn't surprising - a leader with a growth mindset created a business that was financial successful and an enjoyable place to work.
The examples that were most stunning to me were those where the leader actually changed, learned, and grew along with their business and employees. The best examples were Welch (GE) and Mulcahy (Xerox). The director of human resources once spoke against a promotion for Welch, say Welch ". . . was arrogant, couldn't take criticism, and depended too much on his talent instead of hard work and his knowledgeable staff" (p. 127). Welch used this feedback to grow and, eventually, was selected as the CEO of GE because he "promised to develop" (p. 128).
Mulcahy - the only female executive discussed in this chapter - demonstrated her growth mindset by going "into an incredible learning mode, making herself the CEO Xerox needed to survive" (p. 131). She learned answers but also learned exactly who could provide answers she could not.
The business leaders with a growth mindset demonstrated the same "growth", "passion", and "gratitude" they wanted to cultivate within their organization.
What does this mean for education? Or for me as a leader?
It reminds me that we (whether a principal or a coach or a teacher or a parent) serve as models. Those around us internalize and act upon what they see us doing. Every gesture, facial expression, conversation, email, and action reveal something about our mindset. . . and the mindset we would like to cultivate in those around us.