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Showing 1-10 of 1,787 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,109 reviews
on December 23, 2016
I was looking forward to reading this for months, and had a mixed reaction when I finally did. The book is valuable for its conceit: that there are two types of mind-sets; the growth and the fixed. The growth is the one to have if you want to thrive in life, career, relationships, etc. People are formed early on into one mindset or the other, but can change to the valuable growth mindset if they put themselves to the task. This is incredibly important and the book's value stands on this assertion alone. All of this can be summed up in a single chapter, or a scientific paper tweaked for the lay reader. The problem is that this argument is stretched thin to become a "book" and Dweck's writing doesn't maintain enough interest on its own and is often clunky, sentimental and obvious at times. I'm sure this happens a lot when a notable scientist, psychologist, etc is given a book deal and needs to expand it to justify a full-length book when something shorter would suffice to most readers (exceptions are brilliant writers like Daniel Kahneman and Daniel Gilbert, etc). So Midset is a mixed bag. The real gift here is the conceit. Read it because it has value. It's an informational book, but not a great book.
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on December 25, 2014
I first came across the author in a TED video. Her talk about how "not yet" generates far more power than "fail" was interesting and I decided to buy her book to further read into her studies. The book in general is an interesting piece of work. I like the way she describes the "growth mindset". However, most of the book seems to focus on discussing the difference between "fixed mindset" and "growth mindset" applied to different fields. So it does get very predictable and tedious. There is far not enough discussion about how to better develop the "growth mindset". It is like the author uses the entire book to emphasize how important "growth mindset" is but doesn't really offer much help. In particular, I don't like how she attributes every corporate failure to "fixed mindset". I think it is way too generalizing and over-simplifying.
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on April 11, 2017
Knowing can change a belief, and changing a belief can change behaviour. Changing behaviour can change your career trajectory. Stanford professor of psychology, Carol Dweck has a view of human development that may well lead to behaviour change and a career boost.
Dweck’s insight has its origin in a curious behaviour she noticed in children. When given puzzles, some chose easy ones, which ensured they succeeded. Others chose to do difficult ones, which meant they had a good chance of failing. “Not only weren’t they discouraged by failure, they didn’t even think they were failing. They thought they were learning.”
From this she concluded that people possess two fundamental mindsets – a “fixed” mindset and a “growth” mindset.
The fixed mindset believes that one’s abilities are a fact of birth and are unchangeable. Just as you are born with a certain eye-colour, so you are born with a certain brain strength. Your IQ is fixed and can be seen from your grade one IQ score. From then on, you are locked into an ability set. There are some who through sheer hard work can overcome their minimal ability, while others achieve as much with no effort. Having to work hard to achieve is a sign of limited ability.
Not only is this understanding incorrect, Prof Dweck explains, but the consequences of this fixed view of ability is the root cause of many problems in learning, relationships and career.
Alfred Binet designed his IQ test in the early 20th century. His purpose was to identify children who were not profiting from the Paris public schools, so that new educational programmes could be developed to assist them. Far from believing one’s IQ was fixed, he believed that education and practice could make profound changes to intelligence. His view that intelligence can be grown has been bolstered by the work of neuroscientists such as Gilbert Gottlieb, who has shown that not only “do genes and environment cooperate as we develop, but genes require input from the environment to work properly.”
Robert Sternberg, the present-day guru of intelligence, holds that the primary factor in whether people achieve expertise “is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement.” In fact, scientists are learning that people have more capacity for lifelong learning and brain development than was ever thought.
What does all this imply?
Believing that your qualities are carved in stone - Dweck’s “fixed” mindset - leaves people with the all-consuming goal of proving themselves in the classroom, and in their careers. If a person was told they were smart in primary school, they tend to spend the rest of their lives trying to convince themselves and others of this. If they were told they were not smart, they are either condemned to mediocrity or to hiding their limitations.
The “growth” mindset is based on the well-proven fact that one’s basic qualities are cultivated through effort. Everyone changes and grows through application and experience.
Can anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but the growth mindset believes that a person’s true potential is unknown and unknowable. Darwin and Tolstoy were considered ordinary as children. Golfing great, Ben Hogan, was completely uncoordinated and graceless as a child. Geraldine Page, eight-time Academy Award nominee and Best actress Oscar winner was advised to give up acting for lack of talent. Ditto for Jackson Pollock, Marcel Proust, and Ray Charles.
The erroneous fixed mindset view holds that if at first you don’t succeed, you probably don’t have the ability. If Rome wasn’t built in a day, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.
What are the career implications of this fixed and growth mindset?
In the brain-wave lab at Columbia, students with a fixed mindset paid close attention only to whether their answers were right or wrong. When they were presented with information that could help them learn, there was no sign of interest as indicated from brain-wave activity. When they were shown that their answers were wrong, they were not interested in learning what the right answer was.
In the world of work the fixed mindset “intelligent” to spend most of their efforts showing they are special and entitled. Having to make an effort and learn is for those who are “less intelligent.”
This leads to the what Dweck calls the “CEO disease.” Rather than confronting their shortcomings these CEOs create a world where they have none. They surround themselves with worshippers, and exile critics. Some choose short-term strategies that boost the company’s fortunes, and make themselves look like heroes, rather than working for long-term improvement and risking disapproval, as they lay the foundation for the health and growth of the company in the future.
Lou Gerstner, a growth mindsetter, was brought in to turn IBM around. As he worked on the enormous task of overhauling IBM, its share price was stagnant and Wall Street disappointed. Gerstner was called a failure. A few years later, however, IBM was leading its industry again.
Darwin Smith, reflecting on his extraordinary performance at Kimberly-Clark, said that he had “never stopped trying to be qualified for the job.”
When NASA solicits applications for astronauts, they reject people with unblemished records of success, and instead select people who have had significant failures, and bounced back.
Jack Welch, the celebrated CEO of General Electric, chose executives on the basis of “runway,” their capacity for growth.
If you are ‘special’ when you are successful, what are you when you’re unsuccessful? In the fixed mindset, the loss of one’s self-esteem to failure can be a permanent, haunting trauma. Even with a growth mindset, failure is a painful experience, but it does not define the person. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.
Dweck reports a study of seventh-graders’ responses to academic failure. Those with a growth mindset, (no surprise,) said they would study harder for the next test. Those with the fixed mindset said they would study less for the next test. If you don’t have the ability, why waste your time?
A study of university students showed that the more depressed those with a growth mindset felt, the more they took action to confront their problems. They made sure to keep up with their studies, and keep up with their lives. The worse they felt, the more determined they became!
People with the growth mindset intuitively believe that even geniuses have to work hard for their achievements. Which is factually true.
Mindsets are not a permanent part of one’s personality, but they are an important part and one that can be changed.
“Just by knowing about the two mindsets, you can start thinking and reacting in new ways. People tell me they start to catch themselves when they are in the throes of the fixed mindset—passing up a chance for learning, feeling labelled by a failure, or getting discouraged when something requires a lot of effort. And then they switch themselves into the growth mindset—making sure they take the challenge, learn from the failure, or continue their effort,” Dweck explains.
A very important insight.
Readability Light --+-- Serious
Insights High -+--- Low
Practical High ----+ Low

Ian Mann of Gateways consults internationally on leadership and strategy
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on June 26, 2016
Extremely repetitive - used different examples to repeat the same message countless times. A test of my patience; almost an insult to my intelligence.
Read like a high school essay, with content equivalent to that of a child's storybook.
Misleading to name it "the new psychology of success" - it is neither new, nor profound, nor legitimately scientific enough to be associated with the field of psychology.
Read any of the other previously posted two star ratings, most of them are quite accurate and have the added bonus of the eloquence I would have actually liked to see in this book.
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on March 5, 2016
Love this book! Lots of insights and it makes sense. How tightly do we cling to our ideas about life? About ourselves? Can people change or not? How do we react to failure-- devastation or just a part of normal living? Reading this is changing much about my way of thinking. The author started life with a static, limiting understanding of herself and life. In studying various people in her career as a psychologist, she began to see that people respond to negative things in one of two ways: with despair or with hope. She explains how we get these mindsets and how we can grow if we choose to. Really life-changing.
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on February 5, 2017
Carol Dweck's book Mindset is quite possibly one of the best books I have read to ready myself for parenting, coaching and life in general. The book is about 250 pages, a relatively quick read, but is jam packed with situations and how the two trained mindsets handle them. Mostly focusing on the Growth Mindset being a positive factor when dealing with life. Anyone who is going to be a parent a teacher a coach or a mentor at work should read this book and allow yourself to appreciate the fine teachings Mrs. Dweck has to offer.
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on October 4, 2016
This book is way longer than it should be. It's basically the same thing repeated 3 to 4 times over in a different way.
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on November 14, 2015
I agree with many of the negative reviews. This book came highly recommended by one of the academia in our community. I bought the book immediately. The first chapter was the read where it all makes sense. I couldn't believe how much in agreement I was feeling. Then, as the second and third chapter waned on. I felt like I was at a cocktail party chatting with a girl that went on and on about her first and only point. The examples and cites were casual and the connections were amateur at best. I couldn't stay with it. My everyday life is a better read than that.
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on October 4, 2016
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - by Carol Dweck.
Just finished this book for book club. It's a great book with a new concept that you'll be able to see the truth in many around you. People either having a fixed or growth mindset in areas of their lives. I like knowing about the concepts in the book and think it's worth the read. Super interesting and helpful. Might not agree with the rigidity of it but definitely think it's helpful and has truths.
It will help me influence others and myself to be able to change and grow, embrace new challenges positively and love the dynamic of life that leads to growth and health.
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on May 20, 2015
This book, Mindset, by Carol Dweck, has been thoroughly enjoyed by this reader! I have not yet finished it, as I am among three other titles that I bounce among depending upon my mood. Also, this is easy for me as I own a Kindle.
I just read, and captured in a Word document, a short chapter in the book entitled, “Corporate Training: Are Managers Born or Made?”. For me, this chapter alone was worth the purchase of the book. This chapter describes a workshop in which managers are presented with concepts and strategies that are growth-mindset oriented.

Suppose managers in a workshop did these things: a) reach an understanding of why it’s important that people can develop their abilities, b) identify areas where they once had LOW ability but now perform well, c) write a struggling protégé about how his or her abilities can be developed, and d) recall times they have seen people learn to do things they never thought these people could do. And in each case, they would reflect upon why and how change takes place!

The description of the workshop process above, coupled with two suggestions by the author, offer both direction and hope for future organizational leaders. The first suggestion generally was to employ/seek out people who have a growth mindset and a passion for learning. The other brilliant suggestion was making a growth-mindset workshop the first step in any major training program!

I have worked in a corporate training environment and in the management development area as an internal consultant, content developer, facilitator of workshops dealing with leadership development, coaching, team leadership, team development, change, personal development (MBTI), communications, motivation, conflict, process improvement, customer service, quality, etc. I witnessed first-hand managers who were not open to learning, to growth; they were stuck in default modes. Many sorted folks out into winner/loser categories that most often became self-fulfilling. I think Dweck’s suggestion to expose these “types” to a growth-mindset workshop could be the catalyst for a real learning change (if we could restrict the use of digital communications devices during the sessions!)

I am a bit put-out, displeased at the reviewers who disparaged this book, in one case saying it was of no value beyond the first chapter. To those reviewers I say: I am convinced to the contrary! I am looking for what the book is: it is a valuable resource which offers hope to those in leadership positions trying to improve their own authentic performance and the performance of those they LEAD (not manage). Leaders see the potentials of their people, then provide the direction, support, and feedback that required for individual/team success on task/mission.

The book has been a most informative, fun read! I enjoyed reading about the growth mindset of athletes like Michael Jordan.

There are MANY positive takeaways from the book, and I think most future readers will find the book very beneficial.
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