Fun post here from Mark (of MyTropicalEscape and about big ideas and where they come from.

Why do only some seem to have this mindset?

That’s the key, isn’t it? Mindset. Attitude. Intent.

Mindset affects everything. Mark Verstegen, the founder of our company says Mindset is the start of everything related to performance. Without having goals, the right attitude and a plan for success, you won’t get the results you COULD have. Sure you could have a work ethic that would shame the Amish, but imagine the results if you did it WITH a plan, instead of not having one.

While doing research for work I found the following book by Dr. Carol Dweick from Stanford University:

Dr Dweick has a pretty insightful, simple and honest thesis – Mindset determines success and failure, performance, and development. Having a growth mindset (I can always get better) vs. a fixed mindset (I am this good and wont grow/evolve/get any better – i have limits and this is it) is the difference between getting the most out of an experience, job, effort. Being open to inspiration when it hits (it happens to Mark when he is running, when I am driving, when you are…?) rather than being shields-up, closed off, purposefully ignoring that little voice inside that says “this could be better, what if we try this, wow, brainstorm here!”.

She uses examples of Enron (“we are the smartest guys in the room, how can we go wrong??!!??!”) and John McEnroe (“I would have won but “)to illustrate how a fixed mindset can hold us back from ever reaching out potential (or land us in jail) and how leaders like Jack Welch and John Wooden, because of their open, growth mindset changed massive corporations and grew championship teams.

And mindset isnt a persistent state. I am the first person to admit that I have a VERY fixed mindset with certain things like project management and operations (once had a client say to me “you are like a brick wall, you know that?” – she said it with a smile), and a growth mindset with others things like growing talent, dealing with my family and leading my teams. The key is, to recognize the Fixed and deal with it, consciously keeping your mindset focused on growth, on learning, on helping, on being generous and on helping others. Managing is Fixed. Leading is Growth.

My goal now is to work on the Growth Mindset in everything from working out to learning to doing my job and helping out on the projects I believe in. Taking advantage of opportunities, not just taking them. To keep the radar on and listening for new ideas and opportunities and insights, very much in the way that Mark shared in his post. Thinking about how things can change and then changing them (as opposed to maintaining the status quo).

Fixed is safe. Fixed is limiting. Fixed is rigid and unyielding. Fixed means there is no opportunity for growth.

Growth is where it’s at.

2 thoughts on “Ideas & Mindset

  1. mark_hayward

    Sean – thanks for the links and kind words.

    I did an interview the other day over the phone with someone who is writing a book about career and lifestyle change. And my response to many of his questions centered around overcoming fear (that we all have), mindset, and acknowledging that you actually want to make a change.

    For example, I had the mindset (idea) that I WAS going to live in the Caribbean sine I was around 15 (I don’t like the cold:)). However, in order to put that mindset into action, at around age 27 I did two things.

    -moved beyond the fear and worrying about what people would think for trying to pursue a goal.

    -began to publicly acknowledge (to other people) specifically what I what I wanted to do and how I was going to do it.

    Once you can get beyond fear (of failure, looking silly, etc) and make a conscious choice to achieve (work towards) a goal or dream…great things can happen!

  2. Pingback: life is too short to be mediocre « Mike Ashworth

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