Who do you want to work with: the show horse or the work horse, the talker or the doer, the looker or the grinder, the silver spoon or the scrapper?
Most of us gravitate to the show horses, the silver spoons and the lookers of the workplace-the politically savvy people who have perfected the art of suck up. They have affiliations that go by different names but for the most part you can find them in the insider networks, the good ole boy clubs and other in-groups who abide by the members only rule of “Who’s Who.”
They live and die by the mantra of apparent effectiveness. They fit the following profiles:
• Dress for success
• Never rock the boat
• Always plays nice
• Smooth talker
• Endless potential
What these folks lack is grit, the ability to take a punch and give one as well. They lack the aptitude to push through adversity. They stop at places gritty people move on from.
Sebastian Bailey, co-founder of Mind Gym, indicates there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that grit is a better indicator of long-term success than intelligence and mindfulness. Gritty:
• Men stay married longer.
• Children do better in spelling bees.
• People go further in college.
• Workers give more effort.
• Employees remain in one job longer.
Grit is such a valuable asset in the 21st century that many companies are making it a part of their hiring processes. They realize that most finalists are pretty even when it comes to education, experience, and references. What separates the pack is grittiness.
Danielle McMahan of American Express emphasizes that her company is looking for job candidates who can communicate their personal and professional hardships and then demonstrate how they created impact despite those challenges.
As many private sector organizations eliminate annual performance reviews, grittiness has emerged as an informal attribute that companies use to identity their high potentials. Instead of rating internal candidates against behavioral factors, firms like Alere, a diagnostic device and service provider, use measures like determination, agility and resilience to pinpoint high achievers who can thrive in a volatile, uncertain, constantly changing and ambiguous workplace.
Brains may get you an interview, but grit will get a job offer and possible career to boot.