“Mindset” guides you to reach your potential

This best-selling book, first published in 2006, shows how your thinking and how you handle failure helps determine your level of success.
Business books on shelves

Mindset – The New Psychology of Success

By Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Three days on the ski slopes in Colorado is a great proving ground for the concepts in Carol Dweck’s Mindset. This best-selling book, first published in 2006, shows how your thinking helps determine your level of success. The latest edition was published in 2016 with updated research and expands from just an individual perspective to apply the concepts to businesses and organizations.

Rereading this book, especially the updated version, has refreshed my view and revived my desire to cultivate a growth mindset in myself and others. Watching myself and others on the ski slopes this week was a vivid example of the spectrum that Dweck discovered and tells about in her book.

Dweck is a researcher who found how you think about yourself and how you approach challenges ultimately determines your success. Having a fixed mindset means that talent and abilities are static – you either have them or don’t. A growth mindset believes that abilities can be developed. A fixed mindset seeks validation and avoids failure because failure is a reflection of self. A growth mindset accepts failure as feedback and a learning opportunity. Growth-minded individuals and businesses will seek challenges because they know it will lead to new opportunities and greater successes. Those with a fixed mindset, on the other hand, will avoid challenges and seek to stay within areas of proven know-how.

Mindset carries this foundational psychological framework through many examples, including sports, education, leadership, and business. The business stories include many you’ve probably read about in other sources. She even quotes and references Jim Collins’ work in Good To Great. Dweck goes deeper into the well-known corporate stories to examine the corporate culture and leaders that cultivated these examples. She proves why having a fixed mindset is detrimental to a business and shows you how to examine your mindset and work to change it if needed on both a personal and business level.

This week I watched two distinctive types of people on the ski slopes. Those with a growth mindset would use falls to get up and try again, learning from their experience. I also saw those with a fixed mindset believing skiing was not for them, and they just couldn’t do it. The fixed-mindset group would blame their lack of skills, the environment, or equipment. The growth-minded skiers would shake off the snow and try again without blaming things they couldn’t control.

The most encouraging transition I saw was how some fixed-minded individuals would intentionally move from their blaming reactions and force themselves into a growth mindset. Dweck also talks about how to move from a fixed mindset to a growth-oriented one. It takes time and intentionality, but it can be done.

The stories and tools inside this book prove you don’t have to be stuck with where you are. Take a look at your skills, abilities, service offerings, company culture, and yes, even your mindset. You can change and improve on any of these. Pick up a copy of Mindset to help you level up your success.

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.