“Everybody should be searching for resilience, and hardly anyone does. Being able to bounce back from adversity is crucial in just about every field I examined. You need resilience to be a great CEO, a great teacher, soldier, investor, etc.” George Anders, author of The Rare Find: Spotting Exceptional Talent Before Everyone Else.
Anders book couldn’t come at a better time as our economy strengthens or at least, changes, new folks enter the workplace or Boomers find they want to reinvent themselves, start a company or transition into a new career.
Anders interviewed talent managers at Google, Facebook, Teach For America, Army Special Forces and the FBI to name a few to find how they find their star talent. He is a former Wall Street Journal Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and author of several books. He recently told Daniel Pink, author of Drive, that the talent management system is flawed. It is designed where candidates feel they have to hide their flaws or past failures from risk averse companies. As a result, companies never find out whether a job candidate is resilient.
“… when we hire, we’re taught to regard setbacks — regardless of what came next — as flaws in a candidate. So when we prepare our own resumes, we hide our stumbles. That’s wrong! We should cherish people who have extricated themselves from trouble in the past.”
How refreshing! Wouldn’t any talent manager want an employee, manager, certainly a leader who is resilient, who can work around a problem, bounce back from a setback and keep at it? It’s hard to be any more self-motivated and self-sustaining than that! Look at Starbucks’ founder Howard Schultz. He couldn’t get hired for a year.
Here’s a final thought from Anders on how each of us who wants to be a ‘rare find’ can stand out from the competition.
“Find the frontier. If you want to be extraordinary, restlessness is a virtue. It’s also a great traveling companion for resilience; if you can combine the two of them, your chances of finding society’s greatest opportunities in any particular decade are huge. Hang out with people just as driven and passionate as you. The great hotbeds of talent are self-sustaining because competitive internal friendships guide rapid progress. When in doubt, come back to autonomy, mastery and purpose. Those are keepers!”
To be continued… We’ll be hearing more from George.