#Mindset13 Ch 4-5

Check out the Ch. 4 blog post and questions here, via Kimberly A. Hurd @khurdhorst

Chapter 5 Questions, via Brad Wilson @dreambition

Q5.1: Do the principals/admin you’ve experienced offer open channels for feedback? Do they create an “inclusive journey” for their staff? Do they promote debate?

Q5.2: What type of feedback from your boss is motivating to you? Do you see innovation being encouraged or discouraged with current evaluation systems?

Q5.3: Do you think leaders are born not made, as in “a born leader”? Why?

Q5.4: Suppose you faced a major work setback, from your administrator? How would you react? Fixed or growth mindset? What would you do to gain the feedback, skills, and knowledge you need to be promoted next time?

4 Responses to #Mindset13 Ch 4-5

  1. wmartin4 says:

    I’m reading through five now, and what a different point of view in the dissent modeled by some of the examples here. I can’t imagine getting a medal for going against the opinion or desires of my supervisors, but I do think the managers who cultivate respectful disagreement are on to something here. I’m interested to learn more about what everyone thinks of this.

  2. Manan Shah says:

    Let me first start out by saying that I’m not a neurologist / neuroscientist nor am I a psychologist. So when I speak about mindset, I speak from personal experience rather than from a viewpoint of a person who would be trained in the theory of the brain or the human mind (two different things!).

    With that said, I’ll give my opinion on Q5.3 and partially on the other questions as a natural side-effect.

    I think we probably have some natural predisposition to be a certain way. But that’s all it is, a predisposition. The natural athlete, natural musician, natural leader, natural mathematician, etc. only exist in a raw sense rather than a mystical one. (Though throughout history there are examples of exceptionally natural talent: Beethoven, Alexander the Great, Ramanujan (I can’t think of athletes on that scale, but I am sure there are a few of them).) That raw talent still has to get honed into a craft.

    But even people like Alexander, went through an exceptional amount of training. His tutor (teacher!) was Aristotle!! Had Alexander been untrained, unpolished and given command of troops, armies, nations, etc. it is unclear if his military successes would have been so great. It is unclear if so many would have followed him. Alexander literally led by example. He led cavalry charges. When no one was willing to climb over enemy walls, he did so by himself! How much of that was “natural” and how much of that was leadership training by Aristotle and other mentors?

    Simply put, we are not born with knowledge and understanding. Those two come with experience. Experience comes through studying and doing. The will and patience to study and do on a regular basis is different for different people. Some people are motivated by success, others are motivated to avoid public failure (so they quietly learn and do on their own, without the judging eyes of others), others are motivated by real needs (need to put food on the table, eg), etc.

    I think we all end up in a fixed mindset at some point in our lives on some things. I think this happens sometimes because we don’t know what motivates us (or sometimes in my case, I’m too lazy to motivate myself).

  3. What has me thinking from this chapter is the idea of a boss creating a platform for someone to play a “devil’s advocate” to provide pushback and encourage debate. I wonder how a principal or other school admin might use this as part of their strategy for creating an “inclusive journey”. In his book Enchantment, Guy Kawasaki also mentions this as one way to get employee buy-in. ( see http://blogs.hbr.org/2011/07/enchant-your-employees/) Instead of always saying “this is the way it’s going to be”… admin can foster deeper discussion about change initiatives and empower voices from the trenches to be heard. This is different than just forming a ‘representative committee’ whose recommendations may or may not even be taken very seriously. It’s getting to the point where the culture is one that embraces varying viewpoints. The danger with this is to not allow these debates to grind innovation to a halt. It’s not to just let skeptics get a time to vent. A Devil’s Advocate needs to be a tool to minimize groupthink and open up ideas to possible weaknesses. I have never been in a staff meeting where this strategy is employed but would love to hear about anyone who has tried it out!

  4. wmartin4 says:

    This strategy would be great for staff meetings, so often we get in groupthink mode and it is very difficult to put forth dissenting ideas. Making our admins aware of the benefits of this idea may be the first step.

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