The Book Nook
Le Coin Lecture
Curl up and grab one of these books to help you navigate the work that's ahead.
This list is meant to help, challenge, and encourage discussions around DEI, Anti-Racism and Emerging Leadership practices.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
By: Sas Miller
What's this about?
In Mindset, psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck uses research to break down her theories of fixed and growth mindsets. People with a fixed mindset believe that their abilities cannot be changed, and as a result, they’re less likely to reach their full potential. People with a growth mindset believe that abilities can be developed, and they’re therefore able to be more resilient and successful when faced with challenges. Through stories and exercises, Dr. Dweck provides readers with prompts that can be utilised to change their beliefs, and improve their personal and professional experiences.
About The Author
Carol S. Dweck PhD is a psychologist, researcher, and the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. She is known for her work on mindset, motivation and personality formation. Her research findings have been reported in publications including Psychological Science and Nature, and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the National Academy of Sciences.
Psychology, Personal Development, Leadership, Education, Parenting
What We Liked
Dr. Dweck provides several anecdotes from her research, as well as correspondence from individuals including teachers, students and parents, which show how people have successfully implemented her mindset concepts for themselves, and to help others. The anecdotes are inspirational and make the book an easily digestible read for a wide audience.
What we remember: An important takeaway from Mindset was the rebuffing of societal assumptions about innate intelligence or “natural talent” being fixed traits that predetermine our ability to flourish at certain skills like the arts or sports, or to be successful in business and relationships. In fact, being labelled as “gifted” or “successfull” can often lead to people resting on their laurels and slipping into a fixed mindset, which can be detrimental to long-term success. Dweck’s research shows that everyone is teachable and capable of achieving their goals. Her strategies show how changing one’s mindset leads to a change in behaviour, which leads to an overall change in identity and effectiveness in your pursuits.
What this book is : A framework for approaching tasks and obstacles in order to achieve effective outcomes.
What this book isn't : A promotion of “positive thinking” as a means to solve all of one’s problems.
Why Read This Book
The concepts from Mindset are applicable to a broad range of people and situations. Dweck first breaks down the differences between a fixed vs. growth mindset, and has dedicated chapters giving people tangible strategies for business, parenting, education, sports, relationships and personal success. The book can be of particular use for organisations looking to improve their work culture and implement effective DEI initiatives, as well as parents and educators who want to motivate children to enjoy the process of learning.
“There was a saying in the 1960s that went, “Becoming is better than being.” The fixed mindset does not allow people the luxury of becoming. They have to already be.” (Dweck, 2006, 00:58:27)
“It means that change isn’t like surgery. Even when you change, the old beliefs aren’t just removed like a worn out hip or knee and replaced with better ones. Instead, the new beliefs take their place alongside the old ones, and as they become stronger, they give you a different way to think, feel and act.” (Dweck, 2006, 08:53:10)
Get the Gist
How does it fare?
“One of the reasons I loved Mindset is because it’s solutions-oriented. In the book’s final chapter, Dweck describes the workshop she and her colleagues have developed to shift students from a fixed to a growth mindset. These workshops demonstrate that “just learning about the growth mindset can cause a big shift in the way people think about themselves and their lives.”
– Bill Gates, GatesNotes
“Mindset is a fascinating and popular book that looks at developing habits and thinking patterns that promote success. Critics of Dr. Dweck note that they have not been able to replicate her research in educational studies, however, I think Dr. Dweck has done an excellent job describing how some people can either feel afraid to try and fail or empowered to try, fail and try again. Mindset is one way of looking at this aspect of human nature and it is a very encouraging viewpoint. This book includes aspects of cognitive behavioural therapy for developing a growth mindset and goes far beyond “fail fast” strategies.”
– Len Lantz MD, The Psychiatry Resource