Reaching New Heights by Embracing Tumbles

April 5 2009, 11:45pm

I recently wrote about a perception of quality that many have simply with regards to brand names. This recent article out of Stanford Magazine, reveals even more with regards to perception and how it affects quality.

As professor Carol Dweck reveals,

"Why some people achieve their potential while equally talented others don’t," is a matter of "whether you look at ability as something inherent that needs to be demonstrated or as something that can be developed."

For that someone that believes the latter, he or she is able to make leaps and bounds in terms of performance. In testing a group of elementary school students on her theory, she was able to find that:

Students for whom performance is paramount want to look smart even if it means not learning a thing in the process. For them, each task is a challenge to their self-image, and each setback becomes a personal threat. So they pursue only activities at which they’re sure to shine—and avoid the sorts of experiences necessary to grow and flourish in any endeavor. Students with learning goals, on the other hand, take necessary risks and don’t worry about failure because each mistake becomes a chance to learn.

Behaviors that are developed earlier in life, if not altered significantly early enough, will simply persist in life including in both college and the work force. Thus, in order to test for what might be thought of as a false sense of performance in the work force, organizations must be willing to see to it that their selection screens see through what might otherwise be a facade for great performance. At the same time, this also means that education must be significantly tailored to encourage and motivate students to set personal development goals and achieve them. Only by doing this at an early stage will society be ensuring that more of its own become the high performers that they can be.