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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

Either you are Open or you are Closed...?

You are what your learning orientation makes you. Its bipolar - either you are open to learning or you are closed. And that makes the difference. Open mindset is the 'Growth Mind-set' as it is endowed with the capacity to produce different world-views with positive models. An open mindset is a multi-stiried sky-scraper. The closed mindset is only a one storied house.

Are you the 'hole' guy or the 'doughnut' guy...?

Closed orientation fosters negative perceptions about different situations of life. You get a ticket for speeding on the same day as you slip on a bana-peel and the 'hole' guy sees persecution of an angry divinity in these unconnected situations. The 'dough-nut' guy sees opportunity to drive within speed-limits and also to be more conscious on the road whilst walking so that you do not miss the banana-peels strewn on the roads.

One may be endowed with potential natural talents. But that is where the blessing ends. The 'hole' guy lets that potential talent be dormant. The 'doughnut-man' makes that potential - dominant. Thus it becomes evident and consequentially fructifies.

Praise and the Doughnut man...

Whilst we have been brought up to believe that as a driver, praise in measured quantums motivates desired behaviours. Actually that is only a half truth. The chances of 'praise' succeeding to evoke the desired results is equally a function of the mindset of the recepient. A closed mind-set 'hole' guy will not want to risk that 'praise' out of fear of failure and thus maintain a status quo and not grow. The positive mindset 'doughnut' guy, being praised will want to achieve more and thus try harder to solve harder equations.

Mindsets of the Organisation Men...

The organisational link to this 'mind-set' reality emerges from the fact that Corporate success is a direct out of the role its talent plays. Whilst acqiring critical talent the assessment of COs is so flawed in favour of determining the candidates qualifications, vintage and padigree that they miss out on assessing mind-sets of talent that prompt their behaviours...particularly in leadership roles. Research has established that the Corporate success of an enterprise is much more a function of the open 'growth' mindsets of its critical leadership than the qualifications or experiencies collectively of its top leadership. Thus determining open mindset or closed at the time of acquiring talent assumes criticality. Corporate success by research appeared to be tied to leaders who consistently examined the company's processes and challenged its failures.

Mindsets can be Influenced...

Mindsets can be changed and sharp coaching heps dramatically in influencing the change of mindsets. Great leaders have a desire to learn. There are no 'natural leaders' people become successful leaders through the ongoing changes they make to improve themselves. Ones world view could be a source of ones happiness or anxiety. How perceptions are developed, events interpreted and your reaction to situations and people are a direct function of the fixed or open mindsets. Thus the leadership you have in the company should have an open and positive mindset.

Mind-set as trigger for selection of future Leadership...

Corporates therefore need to change their perspectives and instead of tryiing to identify future leadership by their 'natural' leadership style, should distinguish leadership based on the development potential of the leaders and then provide them opportunities and positions in the Company that would give them the opportunities learn the new skills. Thus it will lead to growth for both - advancement of the individual and success of the Company.


Break away and replace the closed mindset...inculate an open minset and only this will open up the path-ways of your growth.

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