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Showing posts from January, 2012

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Why Attitude Is More Important Than IQ

When it comes to success, it’s easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to leave the rest of us in the dust. But new research from Stanford University will change your mind (and your attitude). Psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ. Dweck found that people’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new. Common sense wou…

The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase … What Exactly?

You might disagree with Milton Friedman’s famous claim that the sole social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. But you can’t deny that it sounds simple and straightforward. Here’s the full Friedman, as originally expressed in his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom, then exposed to a larger audience in a 1970 New York Times Magazine article:
There is one and only one social responsibility of business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.
Elegant, no? Same goes for the theories of corporate governance that it inspired. Any other theory of how business ought to behave is going to sound muddled and inconsistent in comparison. Even if it’s closer to being right. That thought kept coming back to me as I read John Taft’s new book Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street. Taft is CE…