This post is a part of our 2016 Lead Change Group Guest Blogger Series. Today we are pleased to share a guest post from Joshua Lee Henry from Advancing the Kingdom to Transform Society.
In her bestselling book Mindset –The New Psychology of Success: How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential (Ballantine Books, 2007), author and Stanford professor, Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., compares and contrasts what she calls a “fixed-mindset” with that of a “growth-mindset.” While the former is closed off to new ideas and contains thought patterns that keep people stuck in their old ways, the latter is open to fresh ideas, seeks out new perspectives and understanding, and is receptive to learning opportunities. Her thesis is that people who proactively cultivate a growth-mindset achieve a greater degree of success and a deeper meaning of fulfillment in all areas of life, including business, career development, education, parenting, and other social relationships. Again, this is due to their openness to challenge, the embracing of change, seeking out new experiences, and a striving for continual learning, all characteristics that accompany a growth-mindset.
Professor Dweck, though perhaps most well-known for this topic among her academic circles, is not the first person to suggest such a concept. Though her research certainly adds an enormous amount of credibility to her claims, others before her have arrived at the same verdict. These include W. Clement Stone, the author and former publisher of Success Unlimited Magazine; popular radio personality Earl Nightingale; billionaire entrepreneur Paul J. Meyer; Og Mandino, the author of the classic book, The Greatest Salesman in the World (Bantam, 1983); motivational legend Zig Ziglar; and co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Mark Victor Hansen. All have advocated for the paradigm of a growth mindset, especially in relation to the power of goal setting.
Not only are all these men giants in the field of motivation, self-help, and personal development, they are all also successful businessmen. In fact, the success they achieved through their own personal production and sales training, along with their promotion of goal setting with a growth mindset, made them leaders in business and proved their principles worked. Their growth clearly set their practices apart from others. Their business success built the foundation for their public speaking and publishing platforms.
Dan Sullivan, cofounder and president of The Strategic Coach, Inc. in the newly revised, second edition of his bestselling book The Laws of Lifetime Growth (Berrett-Koehler, 2016) explains “Growth is a fundamental desire of all human beings. No matter what kinds of goals you have or what you strive for, whatever you want to see in your life that’s not there now is about growth. Growth is at the root of everything that gives us a feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction, meaning, and progress… Growth is a mindset” (pg. 1). Dan and his co-author, Catherine Nomura, then outline their Ten Laws of Lifetime Growth as follows:
The Ten Laws of Lifetime Growth:
- Always Make Your Future Bigger Than Your Past
- Always Make Your Learning Greater Than Your Experience
- Always Make Your Contribution Bigger Than Your Reward
- Always Make Your Performance Greater Than Your Applause
- Always Make Your Gratitude Greater Than Your Success
- Always Make Your Enjoyment Greater Than Your Effort
- Always Make Your Cooperation Greater Than Your Status
- Always Make Your Confidence Greater Than Your Comfort
- Always Make Your Purpose Greater Than Your Money
- Always Make Your Questions Bigger Than Your Answers
In a previous guest post for the Lead Change Group, Change is like a Slinky® Go from Sinking to Succeeding in Creating Significant Change for Your Life and Work, I discussed the six phases of successful change navigation. But while change doesn’t always equal growth, growth always equals change. It is impossible to both change and remain the same. A transformation must occur. For the improvement of a situation, a shift in attitude or perspective, whether a physical alteration or an organizational pivot, something old must stop and/or something new must begin.
This is the elementary truth of all goal achievement and any behavioral modification whether personal or professional. This is the basic logic Einstein had in defining insanity; i.e., doing the same thing but expecting different results. I like the way Jim Rohn, the great business philosopher, used to say it, “If you want to have more, you have to become more.” These insights from Professor Dweck and the Strategic Coach Dan Sullivan, all point to the same conclusion that was so simply articulated by the late Jim Rohn: “Success is something you attract by the person you became.”
How you become a successful person is the driving desire of a growth-mindset.
Joshua Lee Henry is the Director of Coaching on Purpose, a biblically-based leadership development consultancy that operates as a “BAM” –business as mission, organization. Coaching on Purpose is also a Zig Ziglar Legacy Certified training program that specializes in teaching ministry principles for the marketplace. He is also a published author, conference speaker, and corporate trainer.