Growth or Fixed Mindset when the chips (or goals) are down…

Football Managers are regularly in the news, given their frequent and swift turnover.  I’m always intrigued by how their success is measured – win percentages, trophies through to reputation seems to count.

But whilst managers are usually measured by their success, an interesting spin is to look at their ability to cope with failure.  We’re big fans of growth vs fixed mindset (based on the work of Dr Carol Dweck) in which:

  • Fixed mindset: people believe and make life choices based on the assumption that people cannot change or improve their abilities vs
  • Growth mindset: people know and make life changes assuming we can always learn and grow


Darren Dods, Manager of the Scottish club Brechin City has just pulled off the remarkable feat of managing a team that hasn’t won a single game in the Scottish Championship all season, and has ended up securing just 4 points.

Whilst the writing would usually be on the wall, Dods has done such a good job of keeping morale high in the dressing room that the chairman Ken Ferguson has “nothing but respect” for him. We don’t know the intricacies of the changing room talks and tactics, however I’d hazard a guess that Dods (and his team) are working hard on a mindset of growth – re-interpreting their perspective of setbacks, mistakes and challenges from negative experiences and problems into learning and growth opportunities.

Let’s hope this persistence in the face of adversity pays off soon!

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Sam Eddleston

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