The Growth Mindset
Most people with children know a little bit about this growth mindset. What Carol Dweck has done, she's a Stamford professor, she's a researcher and a best-selling author. And in her work, she has found that more important than any other attribute for top performers. More important than experience, More important than skills, what separates the not-as-successful from the most successful is those that have a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. See, people with a fixed mindset believe that their skills are set in stone since birth. They don't believe they can get any better, and as a result, they don't take risks. They just say, "Well, I'm not good at networking. "I'm not good at math. I can't do it." People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, they take risks. They feel, if I don't know it, I can learn it. I can get better. There's also some interesting research that with children, you're better off... and managing, okay, they can be similar... You're better off telling the...
m that you're congratulating them not for being smart but for trying hard, for growing. Because if you've got a really smart child, and you say "Wow, you're so smart," They're like "I'm done." Right? Or, if you say to a salesperson, "Wow, you're so good." It's like, "Wow, I'm done." Wow, I love the effort that you put into that. Okay? Now, most people I talk to love the idea of growth mindset, but they have no idea how to get one. There's no growth mindset store. So what do you do? How do we cultivate this growth mindset? Well, what I've come up with is something called The Growth Equation. And it's in Chapter 1 of my book, in "Heart and Sell," and I talk about it in great detail. In the book, we talk about the ten universal truths that every salesperson needs to know. Five of them are tactical, what you need to do. And the other five are who you need to be. Because, again, you need both. The Growth Equation says that there's three pieces to the Growth Equation which help us get a growth mindset. The first one is curiosity. We've talked a lot over the last couple of days about what to do. This is a little bit about who to be. How do you overcome those demons with a growth mindset? Who do you need to be in order to perform a good discovery? In order to truly connect, who do you need to be? You need to be somebody who's curious. And these attributes aren't just attributes that we use when we're in sales. We have to use them in every aspect of our life. Because what I can tell you is virtues, attributes, are a muscle. Sure, we can practice the banjo, or we can practice a sport, but we also have to practice things like curiosity, empathy, optimism. They're virtues that can be practiced. So we need to be curious. Responsibility. We talked about that. That's the opposite of ego. So when we take responsibility, what starts to happen when we say "I own it," when we change our self-talk. What starts to happen is we're building a growth mindset. We're saying "I can learn. I can learn from my mistakes. "I can learn from that behavior." And the ultimate goal for salespeople, for business professionals, is to cultivate what I call unconscious mastery. Unconscious mastery is part of the growth mindset. It means we're always growing and improving. Unconscious mastery goes beyond being great. It says I'm going to know my material, my technology, my offering, everything about what I do so well that I can pivot when something goes wrong. I know where to go, I know what to do. Unconscious mastery says I am going to know my craft so well that I'm not thinking about what I'm going to do next. I can open my heart to the person that's in front of me. I can be authentic. I can sell the way people want to buy. And I can think about them. Several months ago, my husband asked me if I wanted to go to the symphony. I pretended that I was really interested and that I was sophisticated, but I'm really not. But I thought, okay, I'm gonna go into Salt Lake and get all dressed up and put on my good shoes and everything. The symphony is kind of a big deal. Did I tell you this story? I haven't?
Sometimes you don't remember. (audience laughs) Unconscious competence! But I was getting really dressed up, and I thought, Okay, I'm gonna pretend that I like the symphony and that it's really good, because, you know, he was really excited about it. So I wanted to pretend I was excited about it. We get there and we're in Salt Lake, and we're in the sixth row. The seats are so good. I'm wishing it was an Adele concert or something that I really wanted to see, right? We go through a little bit of the first act, and all of a sudden the soloist comes out. His name is Augustine Hadelich. And this guy, the way he picked up the violin, he started playing this violin. It was masterful. I started experiencing every emotion you could imagine. I started experiencing love and jealousy and concern and exuberance. This guy is making love to this violin, right? I mean, it is just unbelievable. Now, Augustine Hadelich wasn't thinking "I wonder if I need to play a B flat next?" Right? He knew his music so well, he knew his craft so well, that he could focus on creating an emotional connection with the people that were in front of him. And that's what I hope for all of you. You'll take this content that we've gone over over the last couple of days, that you'll learn your craft so well that you can focus on the customer that's in front of you without ever missing a note. And that's what we call unconscious mastery. It takes the growth mindset and the Growth Equation in order to get out of sales hell. We need to always be learning. We need to find a mentor that's going to help us get out of our bad habits. We need to take responsibility to not have our ego. We need to work out of laziness and that lack of knowledge. So, in conclusion, what is the key to sustained success? As we come to an end, I want to talk about one of the virtues that I believe is the parent of all virtues. And that virtue is optimism. So we talked about what to do and who to be. I know a lot of people who say, Well, I like everything you're teaching, Shari, and I could do all of this if only I had a this. If only I had a that. If only I had more money. If only I had more time. If only this happened. Then, I could do what you're saying. I can tell you that neuroscience shows that it doesn't work that way. Happiness fuels productivity, not the other way around. Shawn Achor does a great TED talk where he talks about when we actually practice optimism, when we actually look for the good, when we're in a state of gratitude, we can't possibly be in a state of fear. So gratitude, then, as is in so many religions, is the antidote to fear. So I want you to start thinking about, to really get our mindset right. Are we practicing optimism? It's a skill. It's something to be practiced. Are we thanking people? Are we showing our gratitude? I loved reading about one of Mark Zuckerberg's goals several years back, to write three thank you notes a day. Are we showing random acts of kindness? All of these optimism tools help us to feel more grateful and to get rid of the natural fear that every one of us defaults into. If we default into a state of fear, we can't be consciously competent to do what I talked about yesterday. To connect, to ask, to listen, to link. We can't be present. Because our reptilian mind takes over. I tell people, "Looking for wrongs never makes you right." I want to end with one more story, because it probably changed my life more than anything that's ever happened to me. This is a story of when I first got into sales. I think I told you I was pretty mediocre. I remember one night. I'd gotten a sale, and my boss said, "I need to talk to you in my office "when you're done." I'm thinking, "Oh God, I'm in trouble." Right? So I go downstairs, and he tells me to take a seat. He closes the door to his office. He looks me in the eye, and he says "I've been watching you. And you have a rare talent." He says, "In fact, if you keep it up, "and you train a little bit more "and work a little bit harder, you have the ability "to become number one in the entire sales industry." You gotta understand, I was sort of blown away. Because I had never been number one at anything. So, I said, "Really?" He says, "Yeah, you just need to train more. "You need to concentrate more." And I'm thinking, "Oh my God, this is amazing!" So the next day, I get to work super-early, right? Because I'm thinking I have all this talent, right? I've gotta nurture it. I've gotta study. I've gotta work. So I start working harder than anybody else in the company, and, sure enough, by the end of the year, I went from being towards the bottom of the salesperson's deck to the very top. I'll never forget, because my mentor gave me a card and he said, "Congratulations. You have a rare talent." Well, the next year I became the top salesperson not just at that site, but in the entire company. And I got a bouquet of flowers that was so huge, and again a card that said "You have a rare talent." In fact, I did so well that I got a promotion so I'd make less money and work longer hours. I became a manager. And that's when I was moved up, out to Park City. I had a team of 25 people working for me, and they couldn't stand me. I was a terrible manager. I was a great salesperson. I was a terrible manager. And I remember going down to his office to quit, and I said, "You know what? "I really don't understand this management thing. "I think I'm gonna go back into sales." And then he looked at me and he said, "What took you so long?" He said, "How come it is when you were in sales, "you asked for help every single day?" He said, "Now that you're a manager, "do you think you're supposed to know it all?" And I'm like (sobbing) just crying. And he says, "All right. Do you want me to teach you to be "the world's greatest sales manager? Or are you gonna quit?" I said, "Yes! Yes!" So he says, "All right. "Take out your little black book, "and I'm going to tell you exactly what it takes "to be the world's greatest leader." He says, "I have a feeling you're gonna have several people "that work for you throughout your life." He says, "When you find a salesperson, "even if they're not that good, "but they sorta look like they want to learn, "I want you to pull them into your office, "close the door, look them in the eye, "and tell them that they have a rare talent." (audience laughs) He says, "I want you to tell them that, "with a little bit of training and a little bit of effort, "they have the ability to be number one "in the sales industry." I said, "Are you trying to tell me that all of this time "you've been telling me that I'm special, "and you didn't really mean it?" He looked at me and he said, "What difference does it make?" To this day, I still don't know if he thought I had anything special at all. But I do know one thing: he was the first person who believed in me way more than I believed in myself. He was the first person that looked for what was right and not for what was missing. So my challenge to you, as you go forward, is to know you have one of two choices, as you go through sales and you go through life. You can look for what's wrong in a customer or a situation, or you can look for what's right. You can look for what's wrong in a spouse or a partner, or you can look for what's right. You can look for what's wrong, or you can make yourself look for the good. When you look for the good in others, they rarely disappoint you. So, thank you very much.