The Compound Effect of the Growth Mindset

I have written before about the importance of attitude.

The contrast between the growth mindset and fixed deterministic mindset is just another example of the importance of attitude and mental models for perceiving how the world works and can work. Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset is a valuable reference to understand the importance of mindset to living the best quality life.

The Growth Mindset presentation provides:

  • a framework on how the growth mindset relates to how our brain operates
  • problems associated with our lizard brain fears
  • how a growth mindset can help us deal with our fears and problems
  • the benefits of adopting a growth mindset
  • an action plan for achieving results with a growth mindset

Lizard Brain

It could be useful to refer back to another article I wrote on focused goals for several references on dealing with the lizard brain. This is an ongoing battle that is not to be underestimated. The lizard brain can not be shouted down, argued with, or ignored. Some say this just gives it more power. The recommended approach is to calmly listen to the lizard brain and unemotionally acknowledge that this is a point of view (usually based mostly on fear) that may not be accurate, whose risks could potentially be minimized by planning and action, and that alternatives are possible which may be better than avoiding the fear. This is similar to some techniques that are advocated in learned optimism (disputing limiting beliefs and energizing yourself to take action). This is also summed up in the excellent book Feel the Fear … and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers.

Growth Mindset Chain of Events

Nigel Holmes has done an excellent graphic contrasting the fixed mindset with the growth mindset and how a series of decisions with a different mindset can lead to a cascading chain of events that leads to divergent life paths. One way, the fixed mindset, leads to a limited life based on fear. The other, growth mindset, offers the potential for ongoing growth.

The chart, A Matter of Mindset, contrasts the vicious cycle and virtuous cycle that can occur with different mindsets in a business context. Just like in systems theory the feedback loop caused by the mindset difference can cause a self reinforcing downward or upward spiral that ends up with vastly different results.

Want to have a lucky life? Here is the formula from The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy publisher of Success magazine:

Preparation (personal growth) + Attitude (belief/mindset) +

Opportunity (good things coming your way) + Action (doing something about it)

= Making your Luck

The Compound Effect makes a compelling argument that achieving success is more about the life trajectory you set yourself on by many small decisions you make each day. The compounding effect of these decisions tends to be underestimated because the results escalate over time rather than being instantly observable. Decisions influenced by a growth mindset attitude will eventually lead to results that are vastly different than those achieved by playing it safe and being limited by the fears of the lizard brain.

Growth Mindset Action Plan

If you are convinced of the benefits of the growth mindset as summarized in the attached presentation and chain of events how do you get started? Here are some suggested action steps:

  • Take the mindset test online to see what your current mindset tendencies are
  • adopt the growth mindset by practicing techniques to migrate towards this way of thinking
  • seek stage time (opportunities to practice your craft) by embracing uncertainty, seeking new experiences, and broadening your repertoire.
  • Read Carol Dweck’s Mindset book and use the resources on her web site to strengthen your implementation of the principles.

Social Media Awareness About You

Even if you are yet to be convinced or perhaps just haven’t yet established your social media presence you should start building some awareness of what is being said about your business and personal brand (i.e. your business and personal names) on the Internet.

It is a start to find out either:

  • You have no presence on the Internet such that nobody knows about you or has anything to say about you.
  • People are using various Internet venues like Twitter and Facebook to complain about you or your business
  • People are praising or asking questions about you

Any of these results could prompt you to want to get involved in social media to respond to and attempt to influence your reputation online.

Step 1. Google Search

Google your own name, business name, or keywords associated with your business.
Standard search techniques apply here so you may want to use quotes around a specific phrase (like your full business name) and use the + between keywords to get combined results (AND function). Check out the advanced search link or Google search tips to increase your searching effectiveness. There is a whole book that has been written on how to get more out of Google search as it is a very powerful business and personal tool.

Using Google search works to get an occasional snapshot of what is being said about you on web sites and blogs at any given time.

Step 2. Google Alerts

The Google alert service can continuously monitor search results of your choosing and alert you by either email or as a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. (If you are new to RSS check out my articles on how to setup an RSS reader and free desktop newsreader software). My preference, to give my overburdened email a break, is to use RSS feeds monitored by Google’s Reader. This way you get more of an ongoing view and can see trends and progress. Using an RSS reader is very beneficial if you want to process large volumes of information with many topics that are constantly being updated.

Step 3. Twitter Search

Twitter is known for short real time tweets of information. On the twitter web site you can do searches on various topics and also check trends. There are many Twitter clients that can be used on your computer, tablet (e.g. iPad), or phone that can also show search results. Tweetdeck, which can show multiple columns of tweet streams including ones for searches, is one I would recommend because it is very capable and is also free. Tweetalarm is a new web service which will send alerts to your email about tweets that match keywords you have identified.

Step 4. Facebook Search

You can search Facebook from the public page, from within Facebook as a member, and also using the Bing search engine.

Step 5. More Options

By now you may be really getting into it and want to check even more sources to find out what the buzz is on yourself or your business. Check out the Digital Inspirations site for more on how to monitor your online reputation.

Oh, yeah. When you are done searching about yourself and your business you might want to do some searches to build awareness on your competitors and keywords about your industry so you have a benchmark for your results. Competition is a great way to up your service so your customers can win.

There is a lot that can be done with social media but this is a way to get started by first building awareness of what is happening online. That could be very important to your reputation and that of your business.

Note Taking Tips

Note taking is important right? It is if you want to ensure that there is follow-up to the time you spent in meetings and other activities.

There is more to note taking than just writing stuff down.

Michael Hyatt, the Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Nelson Publishers, explains why note taking is important and provides some tips like using symbols to quickly identify different types of information.

Gina Trapani provides an interesting presentation expanding on Michael’s tips that helps further organize the information in the context of taking smart meeting notes.

Now all we have to do is follow-up on all the beautiful organized notes we will be taking by keeping in mind the purpose of why we took the notes in the first place.