Our leadership team has been working through the idea of “thriving mindsets” recently. In other words, what are the mindsets that help people thrive within our organization? One of the mindsets we’ve focused on is Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset. As Dweck highlights, a growth mindset is a belief that a person can improve their capacities and talents over time.

An example of this mindset appeared in an unexpected place last week. Our family had packed up and made our way to Lexington, Kentucky, to cheer on my daughter at the Regional Arabian Horse Show. During our time in horse country, my Great Aunt Carolyn, whom I hadn’t seen in 26 years, drove across town to visit with us.

After petting a few horses, we spent the next couple of hours reconnecting and sharing stories. While there’s little more beautiful (and terrifying) than watching my 14-year-old daughter cruise around with 22 other horses, my conversation with Aunt Carolyn was just as memorable because she is clearly someone who continues to possess a Growth Mindset.

There was much to catch up on, but two things, in particular, put Aunt Carolyn’s Growth Mindset on full display.

The first mention that rose to the surface was that Aunt Carolyn received her Master’s Degree at 50 in 1983. Are you kidding me?!

As we continued, she asked questions about the business and some formative pieces of leadership in my life. Having shared many times before, I shared a bit about organizational health, teamwork, and Patrick Lencioni’s “5 Dysfunctions of a Team”. But, I’ll never forget what happened next. She reached into her purse to grab a pen and paper to jot write down the title of the book I’d just referenced! What?!

Aunt Carolyn: “What was that book title again?”
Me: “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll text you the link.”

If jotting down a leadership book recommendation from a great-grandnephew at age 87 isn’t the epitome of a Growth Mindset, I don’t know what is!

As I ponder a bit further, it is incredible how many wise people in my life are big-time readers. They’re always in the middle of having finished a book that was impactful in their journey.

For those who are unfamiliar, I can’t recommend enough Carol Dweck’s book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”. She does a remarkable job detailing the difference between the Growth and Fixed Mindset.

Cheers to growth!!

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