Byron's Babbles

Wright Brothers Growth Mindset

Posted in Coaching, Education, Leadership, Learning Organization by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on December 17, 2013
First Successful Flight

First Successful Flight

Today is a very special day! It is the 110th anniversary of the first successful flight of an airplane by Orville Wright. The plane was designed by Wilbur and Orville Wright. When reflecting on the Wright Brothers today I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “Do not follow people who stand still.” This quote by Woodrow Wilson certainly describes the Wright Brothers, who did anything but stand still in their quest to invent a flying machine! The Wright Brothers truly had a growth mindset (Dweck, 2006). Just as Geoffrey Colvin stated in Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everyone Else (2008), it is not about a fixed set of skills, abilities, intelligence or talent; it is about personal growth and the mindset that we can all grow beyond where we are today. Besides all this, the fixed mindset says it is not enough to succeed, we need to be perfect and flawless. Pretty hard to live up to, I think.

On this anniversary of first flight lets look at the Wright Brothers’ growth mindset. They believed that just because it had never been done before, did not mean that it could not be done. Think about all the impossible things that have been conquered by man. These things might include, landing on the moon, landing a craft on Mars, curing many diseases, organ transplants, and yes – even first flight.

So, why settle for accepting the way things are. The Wright Brothers had the vision for what man-powered flight could do for the future of civilization. I for one am happy, on this 110th anniversary of first flight, that the Wright Brothers had the growth mindset! Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?

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