OB330/OB331 Leadership Fellows: Mental Models / Mindsets

Professor: Brian Lowery, Ricki Frankel and Hugh Keelan

Mental Models / Mindsets

Ancona, Deborah, Thomas W. Malone, Wanda J. Orlikowski, and Peter M. Senge. 2007. In praise of the incomplete leaderHarvard Business Review, 85(2):92-100

No leader is perfect. The best ones don’t try to be – they concentrate on honing their strengths and find others who can make up for their limitations.

Dweck, Carol S. 2012. Mindsets and human nature: promoting change in the Middle East, the schoolyard, the racial divide, and willpower for SuccessAmerican Psychologist, November, 614-622

Debates about human nature often revolve around what is built in. However, the hallmark of human nature is how much of a person’s identity is not built in; rather, it is humans’ great capacity to adapt, change, and grow. This nature versus nurture debate matters—not only to students of human nature—but to everyone. It matters whether people believe that their core qualities are fixed by nature (an entity theory, or fixed mindset) or whether they believe that their qualities can be developed (an incremental theory, or growth mindset). In this article, I show that an emphasis on growth not only increases intellectual achievement but can also advance conflict resolution between long-standing adversaries, decrease even chronic aggression, foster crossrace relations, and enhance willpower. I close by returning to human nature and considering how it is best conceptualized and studied.

Kaipa, Prasad. 2012. Steve Jobs and the art of mental model innovation. Ivey business Journal, May/June

Small wonder that many people who were in a meeting with Steve Jobs said that being in the meeting was like going on a magical mystery tour. The brilliant Apple leader was indeed magical, with his ability to entrance, enthrall and simply bring others around to his way of thinking. Jobs was also hardly an open book and many, from employees to competitors wondered just where those amazing ideas came from. This author says that Jobs’ magic and mystery was informed by what he calls re-framing, a talent that only a very few leaders have.

Rogers, Joann Ellison. 2006. Altered EGO: the new view of personality changePsychology Today, Nov./Dec., 71-75

With time, a bit of elbow grease, and an understanding of one's own character strengths, one can become friendlier, more caring, and less stressed by life. Here, Rodgers discusses suggests ways on how one can make a progress in strengthening their personality. Among other things, personality shifts over time, and the change is often flavored by big life's big events such as marriage, parenting, and increased responsibility.

Stone, Douglas. Blind spots and how to work at them. Forbes India, April 12, 2013

Stone, the Boston-based consultant and ‘difficult conversations’ expert, talks about blind spots (the bad news: we all have them) and the best way to give and receive feedback.