Grit Is The New MBA

If you haven’t yet read the January edition of Fortune Magazine, I highly recommend it for employers and employees.

The following are several highlights [Source: Ellen McGirt]:

1. Think of grit less as an antidote to a hard-knock life and more as an ongoing quest to master life complexity—an experience all of us share. When recognition of that complexity shapes hiring, it opens transformative opportunities to people from groups underrepresented in top professions: ethnic minorities, stay-at-home parents, working-class kids, veterans. And in a world locked in a tight global battle for talent, it helps companies find people who are resilient and creative in the face of obstacles.

2. The growing importance of grit is changing the dynamics of the typical job interview. If you’re a job candidate, every conversation you have with a recruiter, a sponsor, or an interviewer is an opportunity to frame your story and telegraph your strengths through this new lens. And if you are the interviewer, you face the challenge of looking past preconceptions and connecting with unconventional candidates in order to find the talent your company needs.

3. “If you’re from the majority culture, and you’re trying to hire someone different from you, you need to have a human-type conversation,” he says. On a practical level, that means looking up from a skimpy résumé and seeing the possibility, being open to how an applicant’s experiences are signposts of strength. It’s crucial to “get those stories out,” he says, because “if they have achieved success in their world, you should be able to figure out how they can achieve success in yours.”

4. Embracing the potential of others involves truly listening to them while sharing your own unique journey. As Jopwell’s Porter Braswell notes, “none of this is rocket science.” And yet, authentic leadership can be so hard. That’s why the work matters.

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