Does everyone have a growth-mindset?

Best tips to atrract tech talent
Esti Barnett Rubin | 3 min read | June 12, 2023

What do you think…

Do we all have a growth-mindset until we’re in an environment that fails to nurture it? Or is it something we either have or don’t have?

Firstly, what’s a Growth-Mindset? A growth mindset is the belief that through dedication and hard work, we can build on our basic abilities.

The concept was created by psychologist Carol Dweck who outlined the beliefs people had in regards to learning and intelligence, based on her study which investigated students’ attitudes around ‘failure’ and how some were hugely impacted by the smallest setbacks as opposed to others who were able to bounce back.

“Brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” (Dweck, 2015)

Let me circle back to my earlier questions.

So I used to work with a girl who’d been the company’s first ever hire — a tenure of ten years. She had amazing talents, her skills were undeniable. It didn’t take me long to notice though that she wasn’t proactive, didn’t have any curiosity for learning, and wasn’t interested at all in growing her skills beyond basic industry practises. Quite a few times when she didn’t have any tasks, she napped at her desk. In front of us all! Management didn’t acknowledge her behaviour because they were constantly dealing with a whole host of other problems… let’s just say when there’s issues at the top, they trickle down to every corner of the business.

I could never understand why she wasn’t interested in up-skilling or learning something new that she could apply to her work! She had hobbies and was even teaching herself a new language, a hard task if ever there was one, so her personal growth was important but in her role she was only ever putting in the basic minimum effort it took to produce work. Professional growth just wasn’t on her radar.

Let me add that there is a difference between growth and ambition and I acknowledge that we don’t all share the same beliefs or behaviours towards them but I’ll be honest — at the time I just thought she was either [dare I admit lazy] or just preferred to stay inside her comfort zone. She gave the impression that she was satisfied to simply be given a task and only needed to complete it (really well, may I repeat) with zero drive for more, and zero autonomy.She must’ve been interested in learning at some point — she used software to master her craft well enough to secure the role in the first place, right? So what was it?

Now that I’ve been in my role at and I’ve been fully immersed in the hiring industry from a position of talent-first, growth, thriving at work, and recruiters looking for people with a growth-mindset to drive companies forward — it’s made me realize that I was wrong.

I now don’t think she was lazy.

I really believe she simply wasn’t nurtured by the people around her — in the form of bad leadership — so she lost sight of how she could achieve great things professionally through learning and challenging herself.

I left my role in that company because it clicked with me that I was going nowhere, fast.

The bosses weren’t interested in my growth, my learning new skills or seeing how I could add value to their business. Unlike my colleague, I had the drive and curiosity for more, and when those needs weren’t met, I sought a place where my professional growth was encouraged.

Once I found LNRD I never looked back.

I believe everybody has a growth-mindset but, unless it’s nurtured, it disappears. You need to be in an environment that promotes it with strong leadership and inspirational, engaging resources to push us beyond our present towards our futures.

I wonder what she’s up to now, and whether she’s surfaced from under the shade of her basic abilities and bosses, to step into the light and grow her talents to the next level.

What do you think?