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Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University believes humans have essentially two mindsets, growth or fixed, and through her research with employees of Fortune 500 companies, she found that managers with a growth mindset are more innovative.

Why is this important? According to the author,

“Growth mindset managers create better work environments. They are more open to feedback from employees (because they’re interested in learning); they are better mentors (because they believe in development); and they are perceived by their workers as more fair (because they believe everyone has the capacity to improve). Furthermore, those who have a growth mindset acquire the skills for success.” [Source]

It seems our mindsets dictate how we feel about ourselves and how we relate to situations, ideas and other people. For example, someone with a fixed mindset may believe his or her intelligence or talents are predetermined (or fixed) – you’ve either got brains and talent or you don’t. Those traits, therefore, are as good as they will ever be, so there’s no need spending time and energy developing them further. People with fixed mindsets are what we might consider “set in their ways.”  They think they’ve got it all figured out and any challenge to their way of thinking is a personal affront.

By contrast, people with growth mindsets believe that brains and talent are just the starting point; these folks believe their basic abilities can be improved with hard work and dedication. For this reason, they love to learn, are open to new ideas and perspectives, and they don’t let failure set them back; they learn from mistakes and capitalize on those lessons to find new and better ways of doing things.

Apparently, we can have different mindsets about different things: I may have a fixed mindset about my golf game, but I have a growth mindset about how I run a dealership. And, we have the capacity to change from a fixed to a growth mindset.

As you might imagine, we don’t see that many with fixed mindsets in our classes at the NCM Institute. Here we see managers and dealers who want to learn new skills and better processes so they can improve their performance and enjoy greater personal and professional success. It’s not difficult to spot the ones with fixed mindsets, though. They are usually either very quiet or a bit combative when we expose their way of doing things as less efficient or effective.

Want to know how to spot your dealership’s innovators? Find the employees and managers in your dealership who don’t try to cover up their mistakes, but use them as lessons for improvement. Chances are, those are the ones with growth mindsets.  Harness their drive and enthusiasm by giving them every opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills where it will benefit you both.

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Comment by Brian Bennington on June 26, 2014 at 10:36pm

Hey Garry, nice commercial!  Don't misunderstand my compliment as I am one of the faction who believes DE and ADM are legitimate venues to share your wares. Of course, there are many who think it is wrong to sell your services, etc. on these blogs.  They're idiots, though, as if you want to learn about damned near anything, listening to a knowledgable sale rep pitch it is often the best, most relevant and quickest way to get educated about it.  I was personally interested enough that I read your bio and visited your website.  (Interesting to read how your company got started.)

Mighty impressive to hear you guys are seeing "managers and dealers who want to learn new skills and better processes so they can improve their performance and enjoy greater personal and professional success."  Hell, I thought they'd only be doing it for money?  I do relate to and admire your "blue skies-paint the picture, if you believe (and pay) you will probably make it to 'personal & professional' heaven" presentation.  And, even though most who attend NCM won't get their "ticket to bliss" (primarily because they're non-believers), those who do make it all worth it.

As to your "lead in" about what Carol Dweck of "Sanford and Son University" discovered, it's hardly a revelation.  I was taught long ago you can define these mindsets as "those who are trying to get their nut and those who are sitting on theirs."  Not exactly ground-breaking!  (These college educators are really something.  They can pass gas, then get a grant to research it, culminating in an "important study" that concludes it smells bad!  Or, as a much wiser man than yours truly stated, "Those who can, do.  Those who can't, teach."          

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