To thrive in the business world, you need to cultivate the “five minds” that make up the learning capacities, says Howard Gardner, the Harvard professor who, in 1983, advanced his now famous theory of multiple intelligences.
Those five minds are:
1. The disciplined mind, which you gain through sustained practice and study. This doesn’t have to be formal, academic study; any discipline will do, so long as you gain legitimate expertise.
2. The synthesizing mind surveys a range of sources, decides what’s important and meaningful, and integrates new information in a coherent way with the knowledge you already have.
3. The creative mind searches for and discovers new ideas, invents things and takes chances along the way.
4. The respectful mind, or an open mind, tries to understand and form relationships with others. A person with a respectful mind gives others the benefit of the doubt.
5. The ethical mind pushes that sense of respect one step further, asking, “What kind of person, citizen and leader do I want to be?” and “If everybody thought as I do, or did what I do, what would the world be like?” Sometimes, ethical people have to jettison their respect for others to protect something they believe in.