Mindset: Why Executives Thrive…Or Barely Survive

Mindset shapes our mental world, influences our outlook, determines the scope of our goals, and ultimately sets us on a path of growth and fulfillment—or one of stagnation.

Executive suites are filled with high achievers who boast high IQs and stellar accomplishments. Still, some stagnate, while others thrive and continue to shine.

The mindset we develop over the years (heavily influenced by our parents and teachers) can exert a powerful grip on our attitude toward learning and achieving. In fact, it’s the key to success and fulfillment, explaining why high IQ scores fail to adequately predict success.

More importantly, mindset may be an important clue as to why some executives fail and why some are more prone than others to “CEO disease.”

Carol Dweck, PhD, an expert in motivation and personality psychology (Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, 2006), has discovered in more than 20 years of research that our mindset is not just a minor personality quirk.

It creates our whole mental worldview and determines whether we become optimistic or pessimistic. It shapes our goals and attitudes toward work and relationships, and it ultimately predicts whether we fulfill our potential.


This is a brief synopsis of a 2000 word article suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences.

There are two versions of this article: 2000 words and 1000 words (approximate word counts). The full article covers the following sub-topics:

The Open and Closed Mindsets
Test Your Mindset
The Pitfalls of Innate Talent
CEOs and the Big Ego
The Open Executive Mindset
Recovering from a Closed Mindset
How to Grow Your Mindset

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