What Makes Ronnie Roll: A Growth Mindset For Growing Well

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Many of our twice-a-month Mondays are spent talking about growth in Athens-Limestone County, and it was once again the case for this edition of “Ronnie.” As we have spent several editions exploring Robert Glazer’s Friday Forward, there was a particular application that came out of a further perusal of “intellectual capacity.” The most important part of intellectual capacity is not IQ or even education, it has to do with what is called the “growth mindset” as opposed to the “fixed mindset.”

Below are Glazer’s thoughts on the topic, which Mayor Ronnie read to me, and applied to Athens/Limestone County:

If spiritual capacity dictates the big-picture characteristics that guide your life decisions, intellectual capacity establishes the day-to-day actions that advance you toward your purpose. Intellectual capacity relates to how you think, learn, plan, and execute with discipline.

Intellectual capacity ultimately boils down to your mindset, planning, and daily actions. It sounds simple, but the first step of building intellectual capacity is believing you can. A consistent quality of most high performers is intellectual curiosity—they’ve expanded their capabilities by always wanting to learn more and seeking out new information.

If you think of your intellectual capacity as fixed, you won’t be able to get better. Adopting a growth mindset and proactively seeking opportunities to learn is crucial to building intellectual capacity. This also means soliciting direct feedback and hearing honest input about where you need to improve and your blind spots.

So, an opportunity for the folks of Athens to help our area “get better,” to “seek out information,” as well as give “direct feedback” is going to occur on April 22 when the comprehensive plan to grow our area will be rolled out at the City Council meeting. “We have always said that our biggest blessing is also our biggest challenge,” said Mayor Ronnie, and by that he meant the phenomenal growth occurring all around us. He then added, “I get asked what keeps me up at night, and I’ll tell you, it’s the quality of life in Athens. How do we maintain safety? How do we grow well?”

Last winter we celebrated the addition of Buc-ee’s to our local economy, and the mayor told me that there is another retail development that is going in there. Of course, he couldn’t tell me what it was or anything about the project, but it is going to be a part of “growing well.”

When we are finished with Friday Forward, Mayor Marks decided that our next book would be the NYT bestseller written by Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, entitled Green Lights. From what the mayor has read so far, the native-born Texan is a far cry from what you would expect from someone who is a Hollywood A-lister. He has had several crises, is not overly impressed with his success, and feels that more than anything in life what he has been called to is be a dad. So, stay tuned for that. Mr. Matthew is a deep thinker and has a lot of common sense.

The time had flown, as it always does, and it was time to pray, which we did. Then, Ronnie had to roll.

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner