The Resilient Mindset

If you have read Carol Dweck's book, you know how the author explain the 2 different mindsets, fixed and growth. While the book is really enjoyable and well written, I feel is missing an important part.

Most of the example are assuming that there is a kid who grow up in a "normal" family, went to school, played in the school football team, and has a "normal life". The thing is that is not always the same, and I can speak a little bit from experience.

When you include in the equation also people who had less opportunity, I came to the conclusion that there is a third type of mindset, one that I call the Resilient mindset. This is a mindset that is built while facing daily challenges that are not common to many of Us. The biggest one is just being accepted for who you are or where you come from. For example, those we call (naively) minorities, non binary people, or simply women in tech.

I personally struggled to be accepted since I was in school because of where I come from, but I am still quite lucky because of my skin color and the fact that my country is located in the west side of the World. So I can only try to imagine what really feels like.

IT is (in many people's mind, more than you think) a white male world. And like in the real world, we need to look at the real tangible results of years of this type of leadership. And I'll be direct: We Fucked Up. Really bad..

From fake news, to rise of extremist to racism and supporting organizations who put children in cages, we have really really fucked up. We need a change, we need different people to take lead.

White straight men like me (I will just refer to them as men for simplicity) have failed and, despite all the "N habits of successfull people" and their "morning routines". The failure is so visible that even the other ones who fucked up greatly, the men in politics, are fed up with Us. We need people with the Resilient mindset to take charge and lead.

They Have Skills that we don't have

Let's take women in tech for example. A woman who has reached a certain position and reputation is very (very very) likely to have had some situations in which she was less valuated, no matter what.

The problem of a woman in tech is a problem that should have never existed in the first place, being accepted for who you are. But it exists and it still shocks me to hear men talking about "code has no gender or race" when well ... you just need to look around you, the people you work with, to understand that there is, in fact, a problem.

I am not a feminist and I am far from any extreme mentality or idealism, but this is a fact. ,Coming out as gay takes courage, being accepted as woman in tech takes courage, going on stage and talking in front of hundreds of people, hoping that you will judged for your talk and skills and not because of your dress, that also takes courage.

And with courage on facing those life challenges, you then build another skill, Empathy. Those 2 skills alone are enough to make someone 10X smarter than many of those smart IT men that are clearly with a fixed mindset.

We fucked up, why not let them lead

I am working on a project with 2 women, I know that at least one of them had a lot of struggles to get accepted at work. Even though she is amazing in managing people, she could not get the chance she deserved.

Some time ago, I asked her to take the lead as editor-in-chief of the project. Since then I have been staying behind the scene all this time. After an humble start, today we are having problem in managing all the emails of people who want to write for our magazine, the project is growing so much that we are literally building a community around it.

I did not give the lead to her because "she is a woman", I did it because I knew she just needed an opportunity. I know how good that person is at managing, and as a matter of fact, I was right.

I simply made the math and realised that this person was the right one, and because of her struggle, I knew she had build enough resilience and empathy to make the project take the right direction.

As humans our main instinct is still the same it was thousand of years ago, surving.

Tech is an easy world ... for men. This is why is failing. We are not used to fight for surviving, no one will ask me, at a conference, if I work in HR or I am an office manager. Getting your startup funded is not easy, but still how many startups and big companies are run by women?

In an environment where you don't need to fight for surving is hard to develop and improve your life skills, is just a fact.

This is why so many become scared when a new change to the environment happens, because they know they don't have the skills to adapt (and compete) with these changes. Unlike those who, instead, have learned those survival skills. The denial of climate change is a clear example of this, the "code has no gender" is another.

We need balance

When you look at any philosophy or religion, you will see that there is always a 2 side that balance each others, that's how the world works. Yin and Yang, good and evil, it does not matter. We need both for a balance. Even when we kill each other ... like in the wars ... Imagine for a moment if only one country had nuclear bombs during the cold-war ... Even in cases like this we need balance.

In IT there is no balance. Elon, Mark, Jack, Jeff, Steve, you name it. We have men who are being accused of sexual harrasment, or letting thousand of employees without a job. These people are "forced" to leave their companies ... with million of dollars in their accounts. This is not fair.

The latest Nobel prize? Yeah ... ".. And his wife" ... The woman who took a photo of a black hole? Ohh ... c'mon it was a team work! I'd skip the politic part but look at all those blonde guys around.

We fucked up so bad that really there are people who believe climate change is a hoax, and vaccines kill children, it's 2020 Jeez... We are going to spend billions to send people to Mars because we call it "Evolution of men", while we keep immigrant in cages here on earth and people believe it's right.

I hope things will change, I hope someone smart, who has skills, can take lead. I hope more men will vote for women in politics, more gay people can have the freedom to live their lives,

I hope one day this guy can go to his father and tell him that he is gay. I hope my friend can become the manager that she deserves.

We cannot solve the problems with the same people that created them.

That is the main problem.