Talent versus determination
Bob and Mark are new managers who are having lunch in the company cafeteria. They are discussing their respective hiring strategies for the upcoming college job fair that their company is sponsoring. The conversation turned into a debate on what type of graduate made the best employee.
Mark prefers to hire the 4.0 GPA graduates, regardless of how driven they appear or how well they seem to “play with others.” He figures he could instill the drive and the teamwork.
Bob believes in hiring smart, but not necessarily the smartest (3.0 and above GPAs) who demonstrate determination and good collaboration skills. He figures they are smart enough to learn and their drive and teamwork would carry the day.
Patricia, a seasoned manager, joined in the discussion and shared her thoughts about the importance of hard work and talent in the workforce. She believes that if people don’t have a minimum amount of talent, hard work may not be enough for them to be successful. Conversely, some of the most talented people aren’t successful in their careers because they don’t work hard. The most successful people have talent and they work hard.
Patricia is right. Hard working, talented people make the best employees. As an employee, we must consider what is in our control and what can we influence. We cannot control how much talent we have. But we can control how hard we work and how hard we persevere when times get tough.
Here are five character traits for hiring managers to consider.
Reaction to praise
Studies have shown that when people are praised for their intelligence, they tend to avoid risk when given a choice their next assignments. Why? If they are less than perfect in the future, they are afraid of not looking as smart. However, when people are praised for their hard work in completing their assignment, they welcome more challenging assignments. If they work hard on a task that their leadership recognizes has a high degree of difficulty and they come up short, they have a history that indicates their hard work will be acknowledged.
Ability to adapt to change
In the workplace, success often depends upon the ability to change from one process to another. Often times, highly talented people have a set way of doing things and it works extremely well for them. They do not like to change what worked in the past and made them the success that they are. Change requires hard work, and while many talented people do well adapting to change, some who feel that they have extraordinary talent are not so flexible.
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