How you perform gets you farther than your GPA

May 16, 2018 by Joshua
in Education, Leadership

Ryan Holiday's blog

Ryan Holiday’s blog

I wrote, to follow Ryan Holiday’s Here’s The Technique That Ambitious People Use To Get What They Want,

I teach and coach people to get jobs through performance and it works.

Schools teach people to react, take tests, and show how great they are. For a posted opening, you’re presenting yourself as a commodity — a slightly shinier one, you hope. It’s based on compliance.

Most analytical, geeky types got a lot of schooling. After decades of it, most people have learned that model without awareness of alternatives.

If you want to avoid challenges in life and just get a job so you can retire 50 years later with nothing remarkable in between, that strategy works.

What Ryan described—to audition—is standard in other fields, such as sports, acting, singing, and other active, social, emotional, expressive, performance-based (ASEEP) fields. No actor won an oscar for his or her GPA. No athlete won a championship for being president of a student club.

In ASEEP fields, your performance matters. Sadly, many in business continue to think and act on a compliance-based model. Those who start from a performance-based model find and create opportunities to excel.

I’ll always remember how a client told me he met a guy running a business in a field he wanted to move into. He told me he first got to know the guy to make sure he’d like working with him. He then told him his passions and hobbies in that field, then that he had zero professional experience, and then, as he told me, “I led him to hire me.”

That’s leadership. The guy hired him, saying “I can teach you this field, but I can’t teach getting it and you get it.” (Incidentally, what he called “getting it” is what I taught him — you can teach it, just not through a compliance-based model.) So he got paid to learn the new field. Not long after he started new initiatives in that business.

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