Everything is possible with a Growth Mindset

growth mindset

I’m touring Asia at the moment and over the next couple of weeks, the CEO of CompTIA and I are personally meeting with hundreds of business and education leaders and government officials in India, China and Japan.

At CompTIA we are committed to reducing the IT skills gap and increasing the number of Certified IT professionals around the globe.

No matter where I travel, those who are eager to join us in this effort have at least one thing in common: The Growth Mindset.

People with Growth Mindsets understand and believe that our abilities and skills and even intelligence can be improved over time through dedication, discipline and practice"

RESEARCH supports this point of view.

Crucially our MINDSET has everything to do with how we view our ABILITY TO LEARN. It is not just about our skills, but it is how much we BELIEVE we can learn, how much we believe we are adaptable, teachable and stretchable.

Fixed or Growth Mindset? 

It is really worth challenging ourselves to see what mindset do we hold - be honest!

To determine whether you currently have a GROWTH mindset or a FIXED mindset, let’s examine four statements.

As you read them, think about how much you may agree – or disagree with each point. 

  1. Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much.
  2. You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.
  3. No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it.
  4. You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.

Okay – what did you think??

Questions 1 & 2 are fixed mindsets. 3 & 4 reflect the growth mindset.

Which one did you agree with more? You can be a mixture but most people lean towards one or the other.

You can also have beliefs about core abilities.

So for instance, I could substitute the word “intelligence” with “artistic talent”, "sports ability" or business skill.

In a fixed mindset, for instance, you believe “She’s a natural born singer” or “I’m just no good at dancing.”

In a growth mindset, you believe “Anyone can be good at anything. Skill comes only from practice.”

And it’s not just about ABILITIES

There are FIXED and GROWTH Mindsets around your Personal Qualities too – like PERSONALITIES AND CHARACTER - do you consider these to be innate, an inherent part of who you are from an early age? It is interesting!

Your personality mindset comes into play in situations that involve your personal qualities. For example, how dependable, cooperative, caring, or socially skilled are you? Can this change or is it fixed?

The fixed mindset makes you concerned with how you’ll be judged

The growth mindset makes you concerned with improving.

Think about someone who is steeped in the fixed mindset. Think about how they are always trying to prove themselves, and how they’re super-sensitive about being wrong or making mistakes. Did you ever wonder why they were this way?

Are you this way? Now you can begin to understand why.

Universal language of learning

As I travel throughout Asia, I am noticing how many people from all cultures understand that important qualities can be cultivated. They are investing in IT education and in growing the Growth Mindset, which is the essential first step to maximising your learning.

Once you have a Growth Mindset then everything else is possible - do you have it?

John McGlinchey

John McGlinchey is the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development & Products for CompTIA




The Value of IT Training and Certification - An International Perspective

Comptia EMEA Conference

At our recent CompTIA EMEA Members and Partners Conference, which was held in London on the 11th and 12th October I was part of a really interesting panel on the topic of "The Value of IT Training and Certification - An International Perspective".

As with all aspects of the conference the panel was quite diverse and it included:

The key outcomes from this discussion were:

We need to attract young talent into the tech workforce

You will have heard me speak and write about this huge issue before - you might check out my recent post about the young man I met on a recent flight!

Basically it seems that kids (that makes me sound very old!) are not interested in a career in IT.

We don’t have enough qualified teachers to teach IT in schools

This is certainly a big issue and in many cases we are seeing that academia is struggling to keep pace with the requirements of the real world. As well as not producing the required numbers of graduates often the courses are outdated and the necessary tech skills lag behind industry.

In some locations industry are working very closely with the local colleges influencing the courses being run and the actual content of these courses. The progressive companies in some cases are providing lecturers for these courses to ensure that graduates are fully up to date - this is also a very clever way of recruiting.

Soft skills for techies is a big requirement

I guess this is nearly a cliche that many highly intelligent and talented people who work in IT can easily get lost in their keyboards and their world of coding and not have the vital soft skills that are needed to work with people and get things done.

It's a fine thing to state it is a problem and it could be a bigger challenge cracking it! We are creating a programme to deal with this very issue.

Continuing Education (CE) is necessary

With the rate of change it is essential that we build continuous education into all of our workplaces and training programmes for techs to make sure that they maintain their knowledge and they always stay current.

While the young entrants in every organisation need to be trained and inducted maybe part of the process is that the mentors can actually learn and stay fresh by working with these new people. We can all learn from each other.

100% Performance based (simulations) exams are the way forward

It looks like the days of learning by rote are no longer sufficient and are clearly numbered. This method of assessing people is very inaccurate so in the future CompTIA will have our core training programmes 100% performance based.

Physical location is a challenge with learning

If we want more graduates and more people to enter our industry then we must make it much easier (and cheaper) for people to take their exams. To achieve this remote proctoring for exams is required and it is up to us to deliver these options.

Mentors are important

While we agree that having mentors from the world of tech for kids will be important this is not a new idea. Mentors have always played a critical role in inspiring people in their career choices and our industry must proactively put mentor programmes in place so we are achieving this.

We need people that young people can look up who can demonstrate to them what a career in IT means and within workplaces mentors that they can shadow.

As always these conferences are a fantastic way to bring thought leaders together to share experiences, discuss issues and brainstorm. For me as always I got a lot from the presentations, from the panel discussions and from the chats over coffee, lunch and yes. at the bar!

Things keep evolving, there is lots to do and all we have to do now is....Just do it!

John McGlinchey

John McGlinchey is the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development & Products for CompTIA


Other people first

This YouTube clip of Simon Sinek presenting to graphic designers at a conference struck a chord with me.

He tells a story of plane experience that I could relate to. We can all relate to it - he spoke of a selfish "seatmate" and who put herself first for the whole flight, not engaging, not standing up when he tried to get into his seat and demanding the last cereal .."me, me me". Simon reciprocated and the journey was more unpleasant than it should have been for both of them.

We have all been on that flight!

If you do something for someone they tend to reciprocate.

Simon talks about the importance of trust between people, with our institutions, with companies, with brands and with the people we work with.

If we have common sets of values and beliefs we tend to form bonds together that build a mutual trust. When we have this trust between us then powerful groups can be formed with everyone working together, relying on each other, watching each other's backs.

If we are authentic and genuine and we live and behave true to our values and beliefs then we will build trust - if we don't then that trust will be broken. That trust is between people, our employers, our brands, our institutions and our teammates.

Groups that trust each other can achieve much more than the individuals in the groups - we all have different strengths and weaknesses and when we work together in a trusting, supportive environment than great things can happen.

In his talk he pokes fun at self-help books because they are too selfish - 5 Ways to make me succeed, 5 ways to get rich. Once again they are all about "me, me, me".

Instead Simon challenges us with the idea that life would be a lot more productive and fulfilling if we tried to help our neighbour and our work mates instead of having that focus on ourselves - without this mindset the power of the group will never be realised.

His big lesson is to forget about "me, me, me" and instead put other people first.

Let's start tomorrow!

John McGlinchey is the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development & Products for CompTIA




Business success 2014: The human touch

Now that the often-sluggish month of January is behind us, it’s very much a case of knuckling down to address the business challenges we face in 2014. In this blog I want to address the human element of achieving success.

We all may confess to be addicted to technology in our lives. We can pay bills at 4am, stream music and films to devices all around the home. In short, our machines are vital to us. But let’s not forget who designs, communicates, operates and improves our tech-dominated office: human beings.Read more