The Striver Quotient

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Travis McAshan
Published Sep 2012
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Top performers are not always the most talented. They rise to the occasion when everyone around them is equally talented. All top performers are strivers.

The Striver Quotient ®

When building a business, there are few decisions as important as whom you invite to be a part of your team. I have often repeated the popular saying, “To find success, surround yourself with people more talented than you”. It makes sense, right? Well yes, but in my experience of turning around and growing companies, I have discovered that talent is fine, experience is great, but the desire and willingness to work smart and hard trumps all.

What is Talent?

What is talent anyway? defines it as ‘a special natural ability or aptitude’ or ‘a capacity for achievement or success; ability’. So by these definitions, it would appear that anyone who is going to be or has been successful has a natural born trait that is almost genetic and unattainable by those who lack this magical gift of talent. That makes about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine.

So let’s consider for a moment that our fates are not predetermined by the business gods, and instead realize that we create our own destinies. We aren’t on a conveyor belt, but we are each blazing our own paths through a journey called entrepreneurship. Under this pretense, it is up to each and every one of us to create our own destinies, and it is going to take work. Being passionate about what we do and forever pushing to improve ourselves is a part of succeeding in life and business.

Strive Instead

One must work hard and smart simultaneously in order to overcome the challenges that lay before them. Often times, entrepreneurs are adept at and even enjoy hard work. The satisfaction of a job well done is very rewarding. But as entrepreneurs begin to grow a team around them, they typically find that the people they recruit to become a part of their team lack the ability or desire to be great. This is apparent as almost half of all new hires only last 18 months! So if it is not a genetic role of the dice, what is it that we as team builders are looking for in the people we work with? Taking Steve Job’s queue, I often times label people as ‘A Team Players’ or ‘B Team Players’. One of my business partners simply refers to the latter as ‘Slackers’.

Recently I was introduced to Jeff Moore, who has coined the term Striver Quotient® to explain ‘A Team Player’ in a whole new light. His approach is that there are three quotients that a person has and can be measured by:

I was blown away with this concept! It is so simple, and it makes so much sense. I can immediately list the people I work with and have worked with who have a high SQ. They are the people who are awesome to work with. They are the ones who not only blow you away with how well they do their job every day, but who keep you on your toes and make you want to be better at yours.

Surround Yourself with Strivers

Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that among other things, it was the people they worked with that made them successful. Perhaps the aforementioned saying should be amended to read, “To find success, surround yourself with people who have a higher SQ than you”. I can say from experience that doing otherwise will be costly. I shudder to recall the costs of my past failures to do so, and I would rather think back to one of my favorite FedEx commercials about a team meeting where there is only one guy with any SQ to speak of.  Hilarious.

So as you go about building your team, remember that while experience is VERY important, it does one no good without a healthy SQ. I encourage you to reach out to Jeff and utilize his SQ evaluation services, or  keep the perspective of recognizing this important quotient.

Have you ever worked with someone with a high SQ? Did they make you a better person just working with them? Share with us your stories!

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