12 Jun A Growth Mindset – The most important skill required to succeed in the 21st century
In the era of rapidly evolving technology, business models and even economic systems, how prepared can one be? Does what we learn in college serve us well through disruptions? According to McKinsey, up to 375 million workers worldwide will need to change roles or learn new skills by 2030. So, it is going to be hard to pin our hopes on already acquired skill sets. The real world does not offer the finality of academic grades. Instead, what we need can be summarised in one word: adaptability.
Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck sheds light on the most important approach to ever-shifting environments in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. After decades of research, she says the secret to success lies in which of two mindsets we adopt.
Which mindset do I have?
Our mindset stems from our powerful beliefs. A fixed mindset presumes that attributes such as intelligence, character, and creative ability are set in stone. Each of us is dealt a hand and we must work with it at that level for the rest of our existence.
On the other hand, a growth mindset is based on the idea that you can cultivate your qualities and grow through experience and practice. A growth mentality sees failure as a form of learning and not as a challenge to self-esteem.
Dweck says that successful people always select a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. She writes, “…my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”
How do I develop a growth mindset?
Here are three ways to foster a growth mindset:
1. Fail successfully
View failure as a learning opportunity rather as a humiliation. Wildly successful people fail their way to success. After all, even genius Elon Musk was turned down for a job at Netscape. Many of his ventures were initially on the verge of failure: PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX. Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times before his big break. Study after study reveals that willingness to keep learning in the face of such setbacks is necessary for success.
2. Get outside your comfort zone
Once you stop seeing failure as a blow to your self-image, you won’t mind accepting a challenge. Push yourself beyond what you think you can do. In an interview, business magnate Richard Branson exhorted people to say yes even to opportunities they felt unprepared for. You can learn what you need on the go and on the job. What’s the worst that can happen? You may fail, learn, and grow.
3. Feedback, feedback, feedback
Ask for and value feedback. Growth-oriented people are interested in developing and challenging themselves. They do not cringe in the face of criticism or judgment. After all, how can one learn if one doesn’t know what has to be learned?