The real truth is no one is actually contained by anything. As a species, mankind is not limited by anything other than personal thoughts and beliefs. No one's life is pre-determined by history, childhood, family, or economics.
Kids with a fixed mindset believe that you are stuck with however much intelligence you're born with. When they fail, these kids feel trapped. They start thinking they must not be as talented or smart as everyone's been telling them. They avoid challenges, fearful that they won't look smart.
Of course I want 'smart' students in my classes but not necessarily the ones who can memorize facts, pass tests, and regurgitate information. I want students who are willing to think critically, try new things, fail and learn from their mistakes.
Here's the thing: Kids develop immunity to praise. They require higher and higher doses of it to be satiated. And as soon as parents and teachers remove the dangling carrot, children can lose interest in their activity.
The most powerful leaders in a connected, complex world may well be the ones who can recruit the right team fastest to solve a problem or capture an opportunity. Why not be one of those sought-after leaders?
I had a baby, my first, earlier this year. After over a decade of telling parents how to raise their girls, I'm now tasked with raising my own. I have no doubt I'll take back some of what I said from a childless perch -- and hopefully feel gratified about the rest.