Do you feel that you can accomplish your goals through effort or is your success based on the talent and skills that you already possess? The groundbreaking work of Stanford Professor, Carol Dweck, indicates that your mindset directly relates to how you accomplish your goals, and this can be used in the context of your personal effectiveness and professional presence. Dr. Dweck identifies two mind-sets, fixed or growth.
People with a fixed mindset assume that their personal effectiveness and professional success is based on talent, versus work. They feel that they were born with a particular set of strengths and skills, and it is unchangeable. For an example of the fixed mindset, think of the music and the classic arts, where we often say that someone is “gifted.”
The growth mindset, in contrast to a fixed mindset assumes that work is the core driver of success. You may not be great at something right now, but the more intention and effort you give it, the more likely you are to improve your skills and succeed.
So where do you fit? According to Jonathon Fields, well-known entrepreneur, business leader and author, “Cultivation of a growth mindset starts with an understanding that greatness is largely about work. There may be a genetic element, which more often is on the exclusionary rather than the greatness side. But the far larger part of genius lies in understanding that not talent but doing the work is the core driver of success.”
Train Your Brain
A growth mindset gives you the opportunity to look honestly at your personal or professional skills, pivot to meet current or upcoming needs, and actually enjoy that process. It gives us the permission to see criticism, judgment, evaluation, and testing as an opportunity for gathering data that leads to higher levels of creation and success. Essentially, the growth mindset lets us really utilize the feedback we receive as an important part of being able to reach our goals, both personally and professionally.
For many of us those goals are intertwined with each other. After all, who you are at work is just an extension of who you are in all other areas of your life, so stepping up to the plate carries the same weight, whether you are at home or the office.
You can catapult your personal effectiveness and professional presence by understanding that the core driver of your success is work. As Jonathon Fields says, “Understanding a growth mindset frees us to lean into the uncertainty, accept risk, and seek judgment with the understanding that, offered constructively, those actions are what will move us closer to our ability to create what we’re here to create.”