How do you embark on a transformative journey toward the life you desire, one defined by conscious choices and met with resilience and determination? The compass guiding this path is the intentional mindset—a powerful force that empowers individuals to align their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors with their goals and values. Each decision becomes a conscious step towards a more meaningful and fulfilling life. And one that resonates with one’s purpose.
Jane Frankel is a business author, lifelong educator, workforce consultant, and successful entrepreneur. Today, she serves as the managing principal of The Art of Performance, LLC and as an adjunct professor in economics at Temple University. Her new book The Intentional Mindset: Data, Decisions, and Your Destiny (Business Expert Press, August 2023).
In this episode Jane delves into the four crucial components of mindset to assess one’s trajectory towards achieving goals and discern if one’s decisions align with desired outcomes. She highlights utilizing the 5-Why Tool as a means to comprehend one’s mindset, identify areas for improvement, and take corrective steps towards alignment with one’s goals.
What you will learn from this episode:
- Discover the four key components of mindset to assess if you’re on track to achieve your goals
- Learn about the 5-Why Tool, a valuable resource for gaining insight into your mindset and taking corrective action when needed
- Find out about the concept of ‘invisible capital’ to effectively navigate and leverage it for the creation of sustainable goals
“It’s really important to understand how you think and what you think so that you can make decisions that are aligned.”
– Jane Frankel
Valuable Free Resource:
- Propel yourself to success with this book resource: The Intentional Mindset: Data, Decisions, and Your Destiny
01:37 – Uncovering what behavioral economics is in a nutshell
02:54 – The problem she helps her clients with: Creating internship programs with companies who needed to hire people
04:57 – What motivated her to write a book
06:13 – Explaining the four components of mindset, understanding why they are important, and what a value means
10:32 – What the process looks like in examining your mindset if it works or didn’t
14:27 – Turnaround for a failed mindset and the need to have clarity about one’s persona
18:40 – Career mapping based from understanding your mindset
22:05 – Ideal reader for her book, The Intentional Mindset: Data, Decisions, and Your Destiny: Anybody who wants to grow.
23:54 – What it means to be truly autonomous
“If you can make your decisions and your behaviors all aligned to your goals and your values, you’re going to increase your comfort level and your peace of mind, because you’re going to know that you are ultimately working towards what you want to achieve.” – Jane Frankel
“I really believe that we all have the ability to be independent, to understand when we need to ask for help, to be in charge, to understand what our options are, to develop the agency that will give us control of our destinies.” – Jane Frankel
“Being autonomous is not an independent activity. It’s an independent plus dependent activity, because nobody knows everything, and you have to be aware of where you need help, what you don’t know, and then go find that from another person or an institution or whatever.” – Jane Frankel
“Your invisible capital allows you to make some good and sustainable goals.” – Jane Frankel
“The key is if you’re autonomous, you need to be seeking and looking for what you’re going to learn as opposed to feeling bad that you’ve failed.” – Jane Frankel
Ways to Connect with Jane Frankel:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jane-frankel
Ways to Connect with Sarah E. Brown:
- Website: https://www.sarahebrown.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/knowguides
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahebrownphd
- To speak with her: bookachatwithsarahebrown.com
Full Episode Transcript:
Jane Frankel 00:00
All of these components can be changed. And certainly we don’t have one mindset of these components for an entire lifetime. You have to look at what’s changing in your environment, what’s changing in society, what’s changing in yourself, and how you might want to then change any one of those components. But when you change one, it’s a good idea to look at the others and make sure that they’re still aligned.
Sarah E. Brown 00:32
Hello everyone. Welcome to the KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women, where we talk about challenges senior female leaders face in being happy and successful at work. I’m your host, Dr. Sarah E. Brown.
My guest today is Jane Frankel. She’s a business author, lifelong educator, workforce consultant, and a successful entrepreneur herself. Today, she serves as the managing principal of the Art of Performance LLC, and as an adjunct professor in economics at Temple University. Her new book, The Intentional Mindset: Data, Decision, and Your Destiny has just been released, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. Welcome, Jane.
Jane Frankel 01:25
Thank you, Sarah. It’s great to be here.
Sarah E. Brown 01:29
So I have to ask you to start off with, what is a behavioral economist?
Jane Frankel 01:37
A behavioral economist is a combination of a psychologist and an economist who is inquiring into the behavioral tendencies that lead people to make decisions. And some of those behavioral tendencies are not, most of them are not based on the logic of economics. They’re based on people’s emotions. So when economists concluded maybe 30 years ago that they really wanted to look into why people do not make logical decisions for themselves, they engaged, or the psychologist engaged them to come up with the field of behavioral economics, which has been awarded Nobel Prizes recently. That would be a good way to figure out psychologically why people do not make decisions according to the formulas and algorithms of economics.
Sarah E. Brown 02:35
Well, I ask you that question, not because I’m expecting you to be an expert in that, but because I know that the field influenced your book, and so I think it’s important to understand where that came from. But tell my listeners what you do for a day job. Like who do you serve and what kind of problem do they tend to bring to you?
Jane Frankel 02:54
Yes. Well, most recently, I guess I’ve been doing behavioral economics for my entire education career, from teaching in public school to creating programs, education programs for software and IT companies into actually working for very large service providers and teaching at the university level. And I found that, and where I landed most recently was actually creating internship programs with companies who needed to hire people, and they would hire interns to basically test them. It was a project-based program, and the interns actually were to be autonomous and to figure out how to do the project that they were assigned. So that was part of the college curriculum to learn how to actually work autonomously within an organization, create value that was tracked for the company, to make them employable and very attractive to the companies that they interned with. So aside from training the interns, these are some graduate students, some undergrad juniors and seniors who are ready to start exploring the workplace opportunities to, besides training them on how to be autonomous.
I recognize that the companies actually need help with creating that environment so that the interns could work independently because it was a big waste of time to train one of them and not the other. Because if you go into an organization and expect to be working autonomously, and there’s no infrastructure to allow you to do that well, then everybody’s just very frustrated. So they are the two places I focus on the emerging workforce and the organizations that have to create an environment for them to be able to be successful autonomously.
Sarah E. Brown 04:48
So why did you want to write a book?
Jane Frankel 04:57
I wanted to write a book because my vision, my dream in life is to help people be self-sufficient. And I really believe that we all have the ability to be independent, to understand when we need to ask for help, to be in charge, to understand what our options are, to develop the agency that will give us control of our destinies. And in order to do that, well, you need to really invest in what I have termed your mindset, which is made up of four components, your goals, your values, your beliefs, which are your biases and your mode of work. And by identifying those components of your mindset and making sure that they’re aligned with each other, you can then develop the agency to be in control and to be self-confident, self-sufficient and accountable to yourself. Because I think that, as I said, I think that that is the best way for people to manage themselves and their lives and their careers and their personal lives to be in control.
Sarah E. Brown 06:07
You said that a mindset is basically four components. Can you restate those four components again?
Jane Frankel 06:13
Yes. This is mindset according to me, but it concluded that there are goals and you don’t have one goal. You have a hierarchy of goals that can lead you through a whole career or the next five years leading up to each other. There are learning goals, there are performance goals. Do you want to achieve something or do you want to do the learning involved in order to get to that achievement? There are values. What are the core principles of your life? What are the things that really guide you in making decisions? Your beliefs are pretty much a translation of your values. They’re your biases. They’re the things you believe that really guide what you choose to do. If you really believe that you are not worthy of an opportunity, well, that bias is going to very much influence a decision on what you will pursue. And then the final is the, your mode of work. How do you like to work? How are you most comfortable? And what, how do you most effectively get to your goals? Do you like to work in a team? Do you like to work individually? Do you like to communicate, over communicate, under communicate? What are the components of actually how you manage your mode of work?
Sarah E. Brown 07:32
Okay. And of those four, you gave an example of all, can you give an example of a value so that we’re clear? And I’m asking this question because a lot of people define values differently. And I think it’s important to understand how you are thinking of a value. So if you can just give me an example of one.
Jane Frankel 07:53
Okay, sure. And there are lists, there are lots of inventories out there, and there are lists of those in the book. But I would say a value is something that’s kind of a high level, like honesty.
Sarah E. Brown 08:04
Jane Frankel 08:05
A value, hard work. I think one of my values is independence.
Sarah E. Brown 08:10
Okay. Thank you. That helps me to understand it. Now, restate for my listeners why understanding your mindset is so important.
Jane Frankel 08:23
It is very important because if your four components of mindset, as you invest some time in exploring this about yourself, if they are not aligned to each other, you will make decisions that are against your values, or you will derail yourself towards a goal. So if you make a decision to do something that really sounds good in the moment, but if you go back and look at your goals or your values or what you believe, if you go back and you say, well, that really conflicts with where I want to be in five years, what my goal is for, what I want to achieve in five years, that’s going to take me off my track. It’s going to take me off my train to where I’m going. So it’s really important to understand how you think and what you think so that you can make decisions that are aligned.
The other thing that is really important is that, as we were talking a little bit before, people get very, very frustrated. And if you can make your decisions and your behaviors and all are aligned to your goals and your values, you’re going to increase your comfort level and your peace of mind, because you’re going to know that you are ultimately working towards what you want to achieve. If you are not happy with that, if that is not giving you peace of mind, well then you have to go back and review your goals. All of these components can be changed. And certainly we don’t have one mindset of these components for an entire lifetime. You have to look at what’s changing in your environment, what’s changing in society, what’s changing in yourself, and how you might want to then change any one of those components. But when you change one, it’s a good idea to look at the others and make sure that they’re still aligned. So
Sarah E. Brown 10:26
How do you go about understanding your own mindset? Is there a process?
Jane Frankel 10:32
Yes, there is. And I suggest that you start, I mean, anybody can sit down with a piece of paper and write, these are my goals, these are my values, my beliefs. But are they really? Because that’s really kind of just what you’re, you would like them to be. So in order to really identify what they are, you can look at the result of something, of a task or of a project, and you can use some of the tools that I suggest, like the five whys. And you can work backwards to why did I decided that? Well, why did I choose that? Why, why, why? Until you actually will peel away to get to, oh, I really valued the money over the time I was spending, or something like that. And does that align with what I think my values are?
Maybe not, maybe it will, but you will if you do that, if you do the 5 Whys, there’s mind mapping or brainstorming, or brain steering, all of those types of basics. This is really not all that scientific. It’s just kind of things that are very much available as thinking tools. If you just analyze what you’ve done, you will come up with why you did it, what you think that made you do that, and then maybe that’s not what you thought you were thinking. The other thing you can do is do this with a peer and ask that person to do a peer review and discuss that process. Actually do that process while someone’s listening and have confidence in them and allow them to say no, no, no, no, that doesn’t work. You didn’t do that because of that. It looks to me like you did that because you value this other component of your life.
Sarah E. Brown 12:23
So let me recap what you just said. You can start off by actually writing down what you believe, or which is likely to be what you want to be the case in each of those four areas. You can then test it with outcomes in real life situations to see if the outcome is congruent with what you wrote down, and then you can test it again with a peer coach.
Jane Frankel 12:51
Yes. It’s actually, you’re actually working backwards. So if you want to test your mode of work as an example, well, you can go look at how you, what your behaviors were in a team meeting. Did you value what somebody else said? Or did you dismiss it because it didn’t agree with you? Well, then that tells you something very tangible about your mode of work, which you may not be aware of.
Sarah E. Brown 13:16
Okay. So once I know what my mindset is, how do I go about changing it if it’s apparently not working for me?
Hi, this is Sarah Brown again, the host of the KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women. I hope you are enjoying this episode and gaining some tips and inspiration on how you can be happier, more successful, and experience less stress at work. If you would like to learn more about how you can take control of your career and do it your way, visit sarahebrown.com. There you will be able to download a free chapter from my book, Let Your Personality Be Your Career Guide. It contains information and exercises on how you can identify your unique interests, strengths, and needs, and translate that into career goals that are just right for you. Now, back to this informative episode.
Jane Frankel 14:27
Well, awareness is very powerful. Okay? So once you are aware, and there’s another component here that is really important, and that’s, being autonomous is not an independent activity. It’s an independent plus dependent activity, because nobody knows everything, and you have to be aware of where you need help, what you don’t know, and then go find that from another person or an institution or whatever. So when you do that, it’s important to be able to work with that other component or that other source by considering the mindset of that organization, that institution, organization or that person, so that you know where that’s coming from. Then what you want to do is build out a mindset that is going to be compatible in some way. You have to find like the common purpose and where we agree so that you can actually get to a result.
A great example of that, if I can, I’ll give you an example if you don’t mind. Volkswagen Corporation, in the 1980s, I think it was contracted by the Republic of China to build out their auto industry. So there’s a book written, it’s called A Thousand Days in Shanghai. And that book talks about the behavioral economics of combining the Chinese mindset with the German mindset to be able to actually create an auto industry that was much larger and more powerful than what China had before this initiative. That was a huge task. And so the person, the Volkswagen person who was in charge of that initiative continuously went back to the goal because the work modes were just so different. You would have to really, really spend a long time and a lot of money to try and change people’s mode of work or their beliefs about how they got something done and their chain of command, et cetera, to the German, Chinese to German.
So he continually went back to, well, what are we doing here? What is it we need to achieve? And then that could tie people together. And so then they were able to actually work together because they had a higher level thought that allowed them to put aside their differences and work towards that, do whatever they needed to do to work towards that goal. And he was successful. So I think that the whole mindset of your stakeholders is very important to be able to identify. And then the common platform allows you and your stakeholders together in autonomy to make good decisions together. You also want to make sure that your narrative as a person, as a contributor is what you want it to be.
Sarah E. Brown 17:39
And so what is the narrative? Define what you mean by narrative.
Jane Frankel 17:43
Your narrative is your persona. Your narrative is how the world sees you. What is the narrative that other people consider about you? Do they think that you are a compelling person? Do they think that you’re a do-it-yourself kind of guy? Or do you listen to other people? How do they perceive that you work? What do they perceive your mindset is? And when they perceive your mindset as something different than what you think your mindset is, well then they’re not going to have the trust and confidence in you to be able to work with you. If you look at all the little tentacles, it’s pretty clear why people can work together and why they can’t, and why they can get to good decisions or not such good decisions together.
Sarah E. Brown 18:34
Can you use an understanding of your mindset to plot out career direction?
Jane Frankel 18:40
Absolutely. Because you start with something called, in order to create your goals, I always suggest to people that you explore your invisible capital. Your invisible capital is a term that sometimes people are not familiar with. And that is explained by a Pennsylvania state senator named Christopher Rob, and he writes about four areas of value that we all have within ourselves that we don’t necessarily recognize. So they are, when you want to plan your career or create a goal, do you have the financial resources to within your family or within yourself, or do you have financial resources? Do you have cultural resources? Are you trying to do something that’s in a totally for or within a cultural environment that you have no background in and you just don’t even know about it? You’re humanistic characteristics. What’s your knowledge base? Where did you go to school?
What did you study? What did you connect with all those studies? Have you expanded that study? What do you have general knowledge of? What skills do you have? And the fourth is your social network, and that’s who you know and what, who those people know. So all of those considerations about yourself, your invisible capital, allow you to then make some good and sustainable goals. Those goals can then be compared with what you value because you know your goals and your values, which comes first. Sometimes we make values and then make goals within the values, or we make a goal and say, well, I have these goals because I value honesty, integrity, whatever, and I want to share those things. So that then leads to what do I believe about myself and about others in that invisible capital? And how am I comfortable working in my mode of work?
So if your mode of work is to leave your desk at five o’clock every day because you really value family time, well then a goal of being a multimillionaire by the time you’re 25 is probably not a good match, because that’s probably if, depending on what your resources are, but generally that type of a goal is going to need a different mode of work. So that’s where if you look at what you have within your invisible capital and then make up your mindset, your intentional mindset, then you are much better able to deliver on that and make decisions towards getting to those goals.
Sarah E. Brown 21:31
Okay. So recapping then, what’s in mindset? The four components? It is goals, values, beliefs, and mode of work. And you can get at that by understanding your internal capital. Did I get that right? Okay. Your
Jane Frankel 21:49
Your invisible capital.
Sarah E. Brown 21:51
Your invisible capital. Thank you.
Jane Frankel 21:53
The point is you have to really go seek that out and dig it out and write it down, because we don’t think about it every day.
Sarah E. Brown 21:59
Got it. Okay. So going back to the book for a minute, who is your ideal reader for this book?
Jane Frankel 22:05
My ideal reader is anybody who wants to grow. Anybody who wants to progressively live one’s life and have success, and then apply that success to the next success and the next success. My philosophy as I was working through my career was that my next job has to use what I learned in the last job. And I think that anybody who has that type of value structure and wants to do that, and you know, there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to do that. If you just want a nine to five salary job and you have other interests you want to be an airplane pilot as well, that’s fine. That’s not, I in this book am not really purporting that anything is right or wrong. I’m saying just be true to yourself and be aware of what you’re doing. And whether you’re railing yourself or whether you are propelling yourself to success. So anybody who wants to grow.
Sarah E. Brown 23:09
Okay. And then the key message is understand who you are and use this mindset framework as the way to do that.
Jane Frankel 23:16
Understand who you are, and maximize it.
Sarah E. Brown 23:19
And maximize it. Very cool.
Jane Frankel 23:21
And while you’re maximizing it, be aware of that you might have to change something. It’s okay. That’s okay. If this year you value a monetary rewards, well, you might get satisfied by that and not motivated anymore. You might want to drop that off and put something else in there, like helping somebody else.
Sarah E. Brown 23:44
Got it. Jane, is there a question that I should have asked you that I didn’t in order to understand mindset and the key message of your book?
Jane Frankel 23:54
Well, I think that the concept, I guess I’d like to just re-articulate, I think you covered it or we covered it together. The concept of being autonomous and the importance of being, having the self-confidence of knowing what autonomy is and being able to hold yourself accountable and knowing that in the long run you do have the power to be self-sufficient. And that’s not because you’re independent only, but you are dependent. If you recognize that a failure at any point in your career development is something to be learned from, it’s not something that has to be thought of as very bad. Whatever happens, if you learn from it, you’re ahead of the game. You know? And I could tell you, I could sit here all day and tell you about things I’ve learned from mistakes. But the key is if you’re autonomous, you need to be seeking and looking for what you’re going to learn as opposed to feeling bad that you’ve failed.
Sarah E. Brown 25:06
Right. So autonomy is a great way to end this. Jane, thank you so much for being with me today.
Jane Frankel 25:11
Thank you very much. I enjoyed the conversation.
Sarah E. Brown 25:15
Thanks for listening to the KTS Success Factor Podcast for Women. If you like what you are hearing, please go to iTunes to subscribe, rate us and leave a review. And if you would like more information on how we can help women in your organization to thrive, then go to www.sarahebrown.com. You can sign up for our newsletter, read show notes, and learn more about our podcast guests. Read my blog, browse through the books, or contact us for a chat. Goodbye for now.