Growth Mindset

This morning I read a wide-ranging interview with Neha Narkhede, the CTO of Confluent, the makers of the data stream platform Kafka. The whole interview is worth a read, but I especially loved her emphasis on developing a growth mindset—which I took to mean flexibility, resilience, and the willingness to change when things don’t go as planned.

I can’t think of a more important trait to cultivate in oneself or try to instill in our young people than this growth mindset. I remember reading an interview with a youth probation officer who said he could identify the juveniles who would “make it” vs. those who would spiral into a life of crime. It all hinged on the seemingly simple ability to work towards a goal. For example, suppose a young man had the goal of owning a motorcycle. In order to achieve the dream, he would be motivated to focus on the many tasks that are necessary to get the money, find and maintain the bike, manage details such as registration, insurance, and licensing, and find places to ride it and people to ride it with. Out of such small things a productive life is launched.

So it is with those of us plugging away in business. By setting goals and maintaining a positive outlook, we build skills both large and small, along with the self-confidence to dust ourselves off and keep going when we make mistakes or life gives us some hard knocks. Plus—have you ever worked with someone who makes excuses, complains, or cries victim when adversity strikes? It’s a lot more fun to work and play with someone who “rolls with the punches” and remains happy and positive.

January was great with a very well-received white paper project for one of my best clients. And I stuck with my “resolutions” about exercise and practicing a daily meditation–not bad. So what’s on deck for February? This week, I’m finishing a large catalog project. I’m actively seeking a new client or two, so I’ve got marketing to do. Plus a large project that will be under my own byline … about which more at the proper time.

Today’s laugh:


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