Monday, December 10, 2012

People are Successful Because It's In Their DNA!

If you haven't read Jim Collins' best-selling book, "Good to Great," make sure you give yourself this gift over the holiday season.  I cannot recommend it more highly for any business-person, regardless of title or role.  Jim mentions the topic of this blog in several places in his book.  I've seen some recent reinforcements of this concept and thought it might make for some interesting reading.

There are all kinds of people on our planet.  Regardless of how closely related we all are to each other, and no matter what geography we come from, it is fascinating to see two clear sets of individual behavior.

On one hand, there are those people (who may be very moral, kind and caring) who seem stagnant in their business and personal goals.  Regardless of coaching and a midst our "instant information" environment, these folks do not drive towards success.  They become confused and unproductive when changes arise.  They may be "good" at their job (or in their life), but they will never become great.

On the other hand, there are other people who seem to succeed at anything they can get passionate about.  These are the folks who almost can't help themselves in driving towards excellence.  They do "whatever it takes," not because the boss or company requires it.  They just can't help it.  They embrace changes and figure out a way to get things done, regardless.  It's inherent.  It's in their DNA to succeed.

  1. There is a misperception that process and coaching changes people's inherent drive towards success.  This old adage has been described as, "getting a zebra to change it's stripes," or "can't change a D-Player into an A-Player."  However, I believe there's more to this issue than simple change.  At a very basic level, people are genetically predisposed to live life a certain way.  For some, there is simply not enough inherent drive to succeed.  Process and coaching will only move these individuals into uncomfortable situations and/or failure.  
  2. Every sales candidate I've ever interviewed says, "I'm great at overcoming obstacles.  I'm a fast learner."  This stock answer is simply not always true.  People who are driven to success because that's how they're wired, will find a way around a challenge.  They will succeed in any role in which they feel valued.  Unfortunately, if they are not wired this way, no amount of learning can change them into a driven performer.
  3. Jim Collins' Rule #1:  FIRST WHO, THEN WHAT.  I see this everyday as a Sales Manager in a large busy company.  It's far more important to hire the right person for the company than it is to clearly know the exact pathway to success for them.  People who are DNA-driven will find that pathway or make one themselves.  This take-away is key for any hiring manager.
As an important footnote here, not all employees need to have this DNA-wired-drive.  As a matter of fact, there are plenty of roles in almost any company in which this type of drive may be counter-productive.  You don't want an accountant or controller who by-passes important procedural steps in an effort to drive towards success.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


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