HBR IdeaCast, published 12 January 2012
SARAH GREEN: And what if you’re trying to encourage a growth mindset in someone who’s reporting to you? Because I’d imagine, for instance, a lot of managers would like to have someone who is the straight A student, right, who they can then hire that person and think they’ll get right to work. And I think it can be baffling for some people when someone that talented doesn’t perform up to standard. If you want to push someone who’s really talented into a growth mindset, how would you proceed?
CAROL DWECK: Great question. First of all, yes. A lot of companies hire people with great pedigree, straight A. But [Patrick Welsh?] once said, these pedigrees don’t tell you about the passion and the drive to get things done. So what message should a manager or leader give to new recruits that would put them into more of a growth mindset?
First, I think the message from the top is really important, that we value passion, dedication, growth, and learning, not genius.
SARAH GREEN: Mm.
CAROL DWECK: Second, we don’t expect that you’ve arrive here fully formed. We expect that you’ve arrive here ready to learn. Third, we expect you to stretch beyond your comfort zone and take reasonable risks, not to do the same thing you’re good at over and over and stay in your comfort zone. Fourth, we value process here, and we reward process. We reward taking on big but reasonable challenges. We reward pursuing them doggedly. We reward teamwork. And even if a project has not reached fruition or become successful, we reward that you’ve engaged in in a wholehearted and smart way.