The Core Ingredient for any 4th Sector Entrepreneur

In our last blog we asked the question – “Why would anyone choose to be a 4th Sector Entrepreneur?’ and talked about the four characteristics we have found to be consistent in everyone we feel fits into the category.

There is, however, one core ingredient that holds everything together and we were reminded of this by a recent interview in the Financial Times (December 7th 2019) featuring Carol Dweck focused on her seminal book, Mindset: the New Psychology of Success“How You Can fulfil Your Potential”

In the interview she talks about how she developed her theory of Growth and Fixed Mindsets, a theory which infuses the mental checklist we go through when deciding whether we feel we can really help a leader of a 4th Sector Enterprise grow their sustainable impact.

Does the person we are talking to:

  • Love to solve problems and persists despite obstacles?
  • Show a willingness to jump in, take risks and roll with the setback?
  • See effort as fundamental to the journey?
  • Believe criticism is just a reason to work harder?
  • Get inspiration by others succeeding? 

In summary do they live by the famous quote from famous playwright & poet, Samuel Beckett 

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Dweck famously included these and other examples of how people approach the world in her analysis of the attitudes that make up what she refers to as a “Growth Mindset” and as she says in the interview “adopting one is the key to better performance and fulfilment”

She compares this with a “Fixed Mindset” where she describes people:

  • That don’t like being challenged 
  • Tend to give up easily when faced with an obstacle
  • Are threatened by others succeeding
  • Blame others for setbacks
  • Believe skills are something you are born with.

In all our conversations with 4th Sector Entrepreneurs it has become clear to us that it is this ‘Growth Mindset’ outlook that provides the key ingredient to their success.  It drives their passion for social justice, their creativity in finding new solutions and fuels their frustration with the limitations of the established private, public and not-for profit approach in getting what they want.  

It means that the reality is that for them the safe route is not an option, even if the alternative seems to present a higher potential risk of failure. 

Dweck finishes her interview by saying “Even though I have been researching growth mindsets for decades, I feel we’re still at a starting point in terms of implementing it” 

The question is where do you think you stand?