The key question stops being: “Are you good enough to belong here?” Instead, it becomes: “Is there a chance you could become spectacular?”
…each domain’s underlying quests are strikingly similar: Who tries hard? Who prepares well? Who recovers quickly and calmly from a setback? Who works well with others? Who can size up a turbulent situation and come up with a plan? Or, taken from the other direction, which people cut corners? Who turns brittle under pressure? Who is clueless about group dynamics? Who ultimately doesn’t care?
George Anders, The Rare Find: Spotting Exceptional Talent before Everyone Else
I speak to groups of people. leadership teams; up-and-coming leaders within companies…
Much of my speaking is presenting business book synopses (or, briefings, as some call them). There is always something valuable in a good business book; something that can help make you better at what you do.
The people I speak to, for the most part, want to learn. What I mean is that they intend to learn something that can help make them better at their job. Something like this:
- I want to become more productive in my work.
- I want to become more effective working with others (in/on teams).
But, sometimes, the speaking I do is to folks who are “required” to attend.
And sometimes, the people who are required to attend don’t really want to attend. They don’t want to be there at all. At times, they even resent being required to attend.
That kind of person can drag everyone around them down just a little.
I think I have come understand this: hiring the right person is WHOPPINGLY IMPORTANT to the success of any organization. And, a “good hire” is this:
Someone who is genuinely competent.
With a work ethic that impels them to do a good job, time after time after time…
With the ability to work well with others; i.e., when they are on a team, they make the whole team better. They never drag the team down.
AND, a person who wants to keep learning and get better at what they do and how they do what they do.
Now, sessions like I provide are a key element to helping such I-want-to-keep-learning folks get better.
But there is not a whole lot I can do when a person is so resentful of having to attend such sessions that they enter with an attitude of “I have nothing to learn; I have no need to learn.” And, yes, there are such people in many organizations.
In other words, a person has to be teachable, willing to learn, wanting to learn, eager and hungry to learn, to get the desired benefit from such sessions.
In other words, it’s my job to provide the right kind of content and challenge. And, it’s the participant’s job to be the kind of open-to-learning person that can turn such sessions into catalysts for the next, next burst of improvement.
This means: hire people who are wanting to learn. Be very wary of hiring people who do not want to keep learning.