Friday, August 4, 2017

The End of Average Part 5

The Age of Individuals
In the Taylorist averagarian system of standardization and hierarchies where the system prevails and the average employee is expendable, a 2013 Gallup Study found that 70% of employees felt disengaged from their job. Google and Costco have turned away from this system of Taylorization and have now been named to the list of “Top Places to Work” due to their new philosophy toward the individual. If you hire great people, give them good wages, treat them with dignity, and give them an honest path for a career, great things will happen.
Costco truly believes in finding a good fit. One of Costco’s strategies to finding good fits is by identifying students from local colleges who are already working part-time for them who are a good fit. They hire these people for fulltime work when they graduate. Costco finds this strategy much more beneficial than actively seeking out and hiring graduates from prestigious universities. Costco also gives their employees great benefits and pays them 75% more than Walmart does and has still been profitable every single year since they went public. A lot of Costco’s success has to do with employee loyalty and low employee turnover costs. This is helping them beat Walmart at their own game of low costs and efficiency. Walmart has any extremely high employee turnover costs due to its Taylorization system.
Another interesting case is Zoho Technology Corporation of India who took on the behemoth Microsoft. In the beginning Zoho couldn’t afford to hire the kind of talent that Microsoft could, so Zoho had to look for talent in different ways and in different places. Amazingly, even against all these odds, Zoho quickly became known for creating great stuff with a talent pool that none of their competitors would have hired.
Zoho’s founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu found that there was little or no correlation between grades and perceived quality of diploma and on-the-job performance as computer programmers. This made him wonder why all the Big Boys were wearing blinders and made the narrow pathway of college a pre-condition to be hired in their companies. Zembu decided to cultivate talent himself by creating his own Zoho University where he would not only give raw, unproven kids a shot, but he would even pay them to go to his school. His school was self-paced, had no grades and used feedback based on projects. And guess what? It’s working! Vembu has hired some amazing unknowns from some of the poorest neighborhoods in India from his university program who have gone off to do great things.
Since Vembu doesn’t agree with evaluating people based on averages, Zoho doesn’t have performance reviews. There are no score cards. There are no employee rankings. If a manager has a concern with an employee, they have a one-on-one discussion so the manager can address it and help that employee right then and right there rather than several months later at a nerve-racking performance review.
Zoho pays fair wages and great benefits. It identifies talent and nurtures it. And that talent responds by being fully engaged and extremely productive. Zembu says that if you treat individuals with respect, as individuals, you will get more out of them than what you put into them. These simple common sense strategies based on individuals over the system is how Zoho can compete with the Big Boys while using a talent pool that the Big Boys would never even look at, let alone consider hiring and working with.

So, what are you capable of doing with your people?

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The End of Average Part 4

The Principle of Individuality Continued
People change according to the circumstances they find themselves in. The often used trait theory and existentialist thinking does a bad job of explaining human behavior because it ignores the second principle of individuality called the context principle. Trait-based tests assume that you’re either one thing or another thing, like an extrovert or an introvert. However, Yuichi Shoda, a top researcher in child development showed that people are really both, an extrovert and an introvert depending on the context that they find themselves in. And similar to Molenaar, people also accused Shoda of promoting anarchy.
The bottom line is that we rarely see the diversity of contexts in the lives of our acquaintances, so we make judgements about who they are based on limited information. Knowing contextual if-then signatures (if this happens, then she does that) helps us make better decisions about people. Asking “Why” people are behaving that way in that context helps parents, teachers, counselors and managers help their people succeed and builds positive relationships. This strategy can also be applied to oneself and can produce some great results.
People change according to the circumstances that they find themselves in. Thus, we all end up walking the road less traveled. However, Averagarianism thinking dubes us into believing that not only are there ‘normal’ brains, bodies and personalities, but there are also ‘normal’ pathways that lead us to the one right way to learn and obtain our goals. We can thank Fredrick Taylor and Edward Thorndike who promoted a standard career track within hierarchical organizations, which then trickled down to education, for this faulty kind of thinking about pathways to success.
This faulty kind of thinking is very limiting. These temporal norms originally designed to maximize factory efficiency has unfortunately turned into invisible pace-setters for all aspects of our personal and professional lives. We all have come to believe that we’re either on the right track for success or not.
The cold hard fact that there really isn’t a single normal pathway for any type of human development, biological, mental, moral, or professional forms the basis for the third principle of individuality called the pathway principle. This principle makes two important affirmations. First, for all aspects of life, there are many equally valid ways to reach the same outcome. And two, the particular pathway that is optimal for you depends on your own individuality.
According to psychologist Kurt Fischer there are no fixed ladders of development, but only webs of development where each new step opens up a whole new set of possibilities according to our own individuality. You see, we assume that way to success is to follow a well-blazed trail. But the fact is that we are making our own trail. Thus, we need to spend some time understanding our own jaggedness and if-then signatures because that’s the only way to judge if the path we are on is the path that fits our individuality. There will always be more than one pathway available to us, and the odds are that the best one for us is the one that is less traveled.

So I must ask now, are we judging others too quickly, and have we been climbing a ladder to success or a web to success? 

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The End of Average Part 3

The Principles of Individuality
The first principle of individuality is jaggedness. Something is jagged if it contains multiple dimensions, and these dimensions are weakly related to each other. In the language of mathematics this would be called a weak correlation. Unfortunately, according to Rose, one dimensional averagarianism thinking has caused us to believe weak correlations mean something that they do not.
A (0.4) correlation between two dimensions means that we have managed to explain 16% of the behaviors in each dimension. Do we really understand something if we can only explain 16% of it? Well, if our ultimate goal is efficiency and the system, then 16% appears to be enough for most people since Quetelet started applying his astronomy math to human beings. However, if our goal is to identify and nurture individual excellence, then wouldn’t you agree that a 16% correlation isn’t enough to be basing decisions about ALL human beings?
Initially, Microsoft, Google and Deloitte evaluated individuals by ranking them. They too fell into Galton’s belief that if someone was good at one thing, then they must be good at most things. But, they soon discovered that talent can’t be boiled down to one number and then compared to the average because it’s one dimensional thinking.

When organizations embrace jaggedness, like these companies above eventually did, they often feel like they have found a way to uncover diamonds in the rough or to discover hidden talent. However, the real difficulty is not in finding new ways to discover talent, but it is in getting rid of the one-dimensional thinking blinders that prevented us from seeing it all along. And even more importantly, Rose believes that the blinders that we need to take off the most are the ones we use when looking at ourselves. When we recognize jaggedness, we are not only better able to open doors for our own children, students, athletes, and employees, but we’re also able to open doors for ourselves… And that’s a good thing, wouldn’t you agree?


Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Bee-haviors of Successful Sales Professionals










What do you think about sales people who always appear to be doing great regardless of how things are going? When things don’t go their way, they seem to have the ability to just shake it off and move forward. When things do go their way, they almost always act as if they expected it to turn out that way all along.

If you look at the way those people handle their sales careers, you might notice that they handle their accounts with that same kind of attitude and consistency too. They dress their best for every meeting and exude the confidence that goes along with it. They take their client’s calls, and take action to resolve issues, treating each situation they encounter as an opportunity rather than a problem.

They put their time and energy into their accounts just like other sales professionals do, they just do it with enthusiasm rather than complaints. The funny part is that they seem to look forward to handling whatever comes their way—both the good and the bad.

Back when you were starting your sales career, one of your goals was to make a good impression with every account. Chances are good that you went the extra mile when you could too. Granted, the accounts you’re handling now are probably bigger. You might even describe your current list of accounts as “comfortable.” But don’t let complacency and a poor attitude become an excuse for letting things slide with any of your key accounts.

As a sales professional, your livelihood will be heavily influenced by the quality of both your attitude and your process, and that means following the same protocols with each of your key accounts.

Making the commitment to being a great sales person is what sets the stage for long-term growth in sales revenue, and it’s a great disservice to your clients to assume that they can’t tell the difference between the sales rep who’s committed to doing what’s best for the them and the rep who’s just putting in enough face time to keep the account alive. They can. So, if you want your revenues to keep growing (because maintaining without growth isn’t an option these days) put aside some time to revisit your sales process, and your attitude.

What are you doing that works? What are you doing that hasn’t been working lately? How consistent are you with your sales process and protocols? Are there times when your assumptions (rather than your research) directly interfere with your process and/or attitude to your detriment?

I could go through the long list of things there are to look at, but you should be able to look at your process, and your attitude, and figure it out. If you’re having trouble deciphering or remembering what your personal sales process is, or you’re realizing that you’ve gotten off track and aren’t sure of how to get back on, or you’re struggling to reclaim your positive attitude, it’s time to schedule a consultation with me so we can figure it out, because:
There’s never a better time than the present to reignite the fire in your gut!



Alan Luoma: I am a Sales Coach with extensive experience in industrial sales, sales management, new

product development, sales and product training. I work with a great national sustainable packaging company and their exceptional distributors to increase sales. My success has been and is in utilizing the Pareto 80/20 principal in business and life. I have become an expert in seeking out and eliminating behaviors that prevent business people from being successful. I am a member of The National Speakers Association and New England Speakers Association. You can view my profile on LinkedIn, or contact me at Luoma@snet.net 


Thursday, May 4, 2017

The End of Average Part 2

Fredrick Taylor’s book, The Principles of Scientific Management, was a huge success as it swept across all the world’s capitalistic industries and countries. In some cases, such as in the communist regimes in Russia and Asia, standardization was taking to even higher levels in Stalin’s 5 Year Plans and Toyota’s system of “Just in Time”. Today, Taylor’s scientific management philosophy remains the most dominant business philosophy in every industrialized country in the world.
According to Todd Rose’s book, The End of Average, back in 1900, U.S. factories needed semi-skilled workers. However, only 6% of the American population had graduated from high school at that time. And more and more immigrants were washing up on our shores every day. At that time in our history a real crisis of not enough skilled laborers was developing. Thus, Taylor work place practices of standardization came to save the day by trickling down to our American educational system to supply our factories with the workers they needed. A standard education eventually won out over a holistic one, and students were educated all the same exact way, regardless of their backgrounds, abilities or interest. Like their parents in the factories, they had been automated in the schools, graduation rates soared, and it seemed like once again, averagarianism and standardization had been successful.
In the Age of Average the next Quetelet disciple to come along was Edward Thorndike. In his book Rose states that Thorndike was one of the most influential psychologist of all time. He helped invent educational psychology and educational psychometrics. He established the mission of schools and colleges. His mentor at Harvard, William James, called him a freak of nature for his workaholic productivity. Thorndike embraced Galton’s ideas of separating and ranking students, as well as Taylor’s standardization. Thorndike believe the purpose of schools wasn’t to educate all students to the same level, but to sort them according to their innate level of talent and proper stations in life.
Thus, due to the influence of Quetelet, Galton, Taylor, Thorndike and others, today all of our social institutions ignore people’s own unique individuality and assess people in terms of their relationship to the average or how closely they approximate the average and how far they are able to exceed it.
Now, to be perfectly clear, Rose believes that the Age of Average wasn’t a complete disaster. Rose admits that it made us productive enough in our schools and factories to become a world leader. However, it did cost us something too. Now society compels us to conform to certain narrow expectations in order to succeed in school, work and life. We all strive to be like everyone else, but only better. Sadly, our uniqueness has become an obstacle.
Fortunately, along comes another averagarianism scientist named Peter Molenaar who would eventually shake up the Age of Average. Molenaar came to realize that the bible of testing, Statistical Theories of Mental Test Scores, concealed the thread that would unravel averagarianism. Molenaar recognized the fatal flaw of averagarianism was in its paradoxical assumption that you could only understand individuals by ignoring their individuality. He named this error “The Ergodic Switch”.
According to ergodic theory, one can only use group averages if every member of the group is identical and will remain the same in the future. It should be pretty obvious to all us by now that complex human beings are not ergodic.
The funny thing is that no one disputed Molenaar’s math. What they did respond with however, was, “What you are proposing is anarchy!” They also responded with, “If we can’t use averages to evaluate, model, and select individuals, well then… what do we use?”

So, what do you use? And how do you feel about our social institutions ignoring people’s own unique individuality and only assessing people in terms of their relationship to the average or how closely they approximate the average and how far they are able to exceed it? Can we do better? Can you do better?  


Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Is It Too Late to Write Your Book?



Everyone who dreams of writing a book knows what that genuine burst of inspiration, enthusiasm, and energy feels like when a really great book idea pops into their mind. They just know, without a doubt, that there are people everywhere who will absolutely benefit from all the great content they’re going to share. And the benefits! There are so many external benefits to writing a book:

  • Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field
  • Recognition as an expert in your field
  • Increase in visibility
  • Increase in income
  • Increase in clients/customers/market share

 The biggest internal benefits?

  • The feeling of accomplishment that goes along with successfully completing something most of your peers will never even attempt.
  • Knowing you have contributed a valuable “conversation” in a format that will be around long after you’re gone.  

The biggest hurdle?

  • Getting started.

It’s really easy to push the idea of writing your book off to one side. You have every intention of getting to it at some point, but right now, it’s “just not the right time.” Sadly this is the whole “I’ll get to it tomorrow” paradox because tomorrow never comes.

If you truly don’t have the time to write your book, there are still things you can do to keep the inspiration and ideas for your book alive.

Acknowledge the value of questions:
  • Start keeping track of the questions your clients and customers are asking. You already know most of the answers by heart, and once combined, they will provide a great source of content for your book.
  • Ask your clients and customers questions too. Not yes or no questions that will make them feel dumb if they don’t know the answers. Come up with open-ended questions that give them the opportunity to expand on their thoughts, experiences, and opinions. Be open to the truth that even though you’re good at what you do, you can still learn from other people.

Pay attention to what others are writing. Some people think it’s too late to write their own book when they come across a book that’s been written and published on the same topic, by someone else. But there are very few cases when this is true. Instead, think of these people as your peers rather than your competition. Think of those books as opportunities to riff off their work. (That’s riff not rip!) If fact, it’s when we contemplate the work of others that our minds are stimulated to agree, disagree, add to what they came up with, alter it so it’s more accurate, fill in the missing pieces, etc.

Embrace the reality that only you can share your thoughts and ideas. In books, just as it is with people and in business, you aren’t going to establish a connection with every person you meet. But that’s all the more reason why you need to write your book. There are people waiting for the solutions you have to offer. And yes, solutions might already exist, but people don’t listen to voices that rub them the wrong way. They want to hear from people they feel a connection to. That’s where your unique voice comes in. The only way you can fail at connecting with your audience is if you never write your book!

It’s never too late to write your book. Never. But if you’re struggling with getting started, let’s have a conversation.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The End of Average Part 1


      
      Todd Rose’s book, The End of Average shows overs and over again that most of our social and institutional systems over the last hundred years or so are designed around the average person and sadly are doomed to fail. No one is average. The moment one needs to make a decision about an individual, the average is useless and even harmful because it gives us a false sense of knowledge. This quassi-knowledge has been based on an imperfect human invention of the average that helped solve the problems of a 100 years ago during the Industrial Age.
            Furthermore, the Age of the Average, which came out of our Industrial Age, was built on imperfect science. Adolphe Quetelet, who was born in 1796, was a man who was looking for fortune and fame. He wanted to be the Isaac Newton of his age. He kind of achieved this by using the mathematics from his failed astronomy career and applying it to humans. He borrowed astronomy methods of averages (averages were used because most astronomers couldn’t agree on anything), and actually applied it to human beings! And somehow this imperfect science caught on and the world changed to where according to Rose the average person came to represent the true human, and the individual person became synonymous with error. Every one of us became a flawed copy of some kind of cosmic template for human beings, which they called, “The Average Man”. Basically, average became normal, even though it didn’t truly exist, and the individual became error. Kind of crazy sounding, isn’t it?
            Next came Charles Darwin’s cousin Sir Francis Galton. He agreed with everything that Quetelet said except the average being the perfect being. Instead he created a ranking system and said it was better if one was above average. He used Darwin’s research on evolution and survival of the fittest to back up his claims. So now, with Quetelet’s influence, if one wasn’t average, they were wrong. And then with Galton’s influence, if one wasn’t above average, they too were wrong. It was a lose-lose situation for most of us, if not all of us.
            Sadly, Quetelet’s idea of the Average Man and Galton’s idea of rank somehow became part of our current system of education, hiring practices in the work place, and employee evaluations. Individuality, eventually didn’t matter anymore. The thought process became that people could only be understood by comparing them to a group. Today, we judge, whether we want to or not, everyone we meet against the average, including ourselves.
            Rose next speaks about Fredrick Winslow Taylor, who like Bill Gates, opted out of Harvard so he could go change the world. Taylor believed that he could eliminate inefficiency in our newly electrified factories during the Industrial Age, which was just as big as a deal as what Gates did in the Information Age. Taylor decided to make his mark through adopting the principles of averagarianism and standardization where the system would trump the individual. The worker, who was once celebrated as a creative craftsman, was demoted to the role of automation. Here the new role of the manager was born despite the fact that people initially thought it was crazy to hire someone to plan a job who couldn’t actually do the job.

            So, in closing of part 1 of this multipart blog, are you unknowingly comparing yourself and everyone you meet to the average? If you are, is there anything that you could do different or even better? And if you’re a manager of people, are you truly seeing your people? 

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Value of Random Thoughts



We all know what random thoughts are—the ones that pop into your head and you think, Wow… that’s a really cool idea. These are the thoughts that have you puffing up with pride at the notion that you could come up with something so good on your own, or delighting you with your own ability to solve a problem. They make you feel brilliant… and then they’re gone... like stars at sunrise.

Everything that exists in our world started out as a flash of an idea in someone’s mind. Not all of those minds belonged to geniuses either. They belonged to people who grabbed hold of their thoughts, and didn’t let go until they turned them into a reality.

If you want to write a book, but are having trouble getting started, here are a few things you can start doing right now.

Write your flashes of brilliance down! Books aren’t written all at once. They’re written word by word (and not necessarily in order). Get a notebook. It can be a fancy notebook or not, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, or how many pages it has. What matters is that it’s one and only purpose is for you to record your thoughts and ideas. No to-do lists! No journaling!

I have a couple of books like this; small ones from the Dollar Store, each with its own designated subject. Then, whenever I have an idea, thought, or flash, I have a place to write it down.

Embrace the power of post-its! Funny little things—post-its, but powerful little things to have handy because brilliance rarely checks to see if one of your notebooks is nearby before gracing you with its presence. With a post-it, you can capture your idea with words before it fades away.

What I really like about post-its (besides the fact that you can write something down and then add it to your notebook later) is that they come in all kinds of shapes and colors. You can choose colors that match your mood, or even color code your thoughts if you want.

Most Importantly! When you do write down your thoughts, ideas, flashes of brilliance, etc., make sure to write down enough of the thought so you’ll know exactly what you were thinking when you came up with it. I can’t even imagine how many wonderful thoughts and ideas have been lost through the ages because someone wrote a four word sentence and thought, I’ll remember what it means. Don’t let that happen to you. Make sure that what you write is as complete as it can be.

Don’t share! I know that sounds like a bad thing to say, but ideas can be fragile things. Treat them like the newborns they are. Don’t give them over to strangers. And, as we’re not really talking about babies here, my advice is not to share them with loved ones or trusted friends either—at least not at first. Write them down, and then let them settle long enough for the inspiration that sparked their existence to take root. If you work with a coach or mentor, those are the people you can share them with because your best interest is their top priority.

Respect your own process! People create at their own pace, so cut yourself some slack if your book isn’t taking shape as quickly as you’d like it to. If you’d like some guidance understanding and defining your process, let’s chat.



Saturday, March 4, 2017

Grit Part 7

Growing Grit from the Outside Continued
     
       So, what’s another way us parents can build more grit in ourselves and our children? Simple. Join a gritty team. Join a winning team. Join a team where it’s normal to get up early, work hard, and stay late. When we reside in a culture that is gritty, then acting gritty just seems normal. It’s just what we do. After all, the concept of conformity is a very powerful one. Most of us will conform to the culture that we’re living in, whether we know it or not.
            The Finnish people even have a word for the culture of toughness that they live in and acclimate to. That word is sisu. They believer that just by being Finnish it makes the people in Finland grittier, tougher, or sisu, whether they know it or not. Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks professional football team calls it competing. If you’re part of the Seahawks culture you’re always competing. And in Coach Carroll’s culture, the word compete doesn’t mean one wins and one loses. Instead, it means to bring forth the best in all of them.
Which, leads me to my next point. If you don’t have a winning gritty culture or team to join, then create one of your own where your own grit will rub off onto your teammates, co-workers, or even your own children. Hey, it’s sort of like the great John Wooden of UCLA basketball fame would say, “Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” So, choose to have that courage and build that grit in yourself. Then pass it around so others too can get a little more cultured.
Closing
What we accomplish in the marathon of life depends a lot on our grit, passion and perseverance for long term goals. Sadly, an obsession with talent distracts us all from this simple truth. And makes no mistake about it, most of us are distracted. We love the mystique of what someone becomes, we’re not very interested in what it took, or the becoming part that was required for them to reach their full potential and mastery.
            The good thing is that we can all choose to work on our own grit and becoming grittier. We can grow our grit from the inside out through some exploration and perseverance and we can also employ others to our cause and grow grit from the outside in.
            Becoming grittier is excellent for all of us because becoming grittier makes us emotionally healthier. Considering all the crazy stuff we have seen seeing in the news lately, I think you would agree with me that our society being a little more emotionally healthy would be a good thing that could benefit all of us.

            In conclusion, I say stay curious my friend. Curiosity usually has an undercurrent of optimism that accompanies a growth-mindset. Curiosity, in the end, may be the best companion to true grit. Get your gritty self out there and somehow get your hands on Dr. Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit. You’ll be happier that you did. It will improve your outlook on life like it has for me. Grit reminds us that we don’t have to go down that road of learned helplessness. Given enough time and grit, we can make our dreams come true by becoming even grittier.
 Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. You can learn more about him at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Grit Part 6

Growing Grit from the Outside
   
         The Latin meaning of the word parent is ‘bring forth’. We need to bring forth interest, practice, purpose and hope in all the people that we care for and care about. We have to show our children, according to Dr. Duckworth, that it’s not about us and what we need, but that it’s truly about giving the kids all that we got. We have to do this, even when it’s not easy because kids need demanding and supportive parenting or other words, ‘tough-love’ in order to build some grit of their own.
            However, remember that we don’t need to be a parent to make a difference. If we just care about them and get to know them and what’s going on in their lives, we can make a positive impact. I’m sure that we have all heard the old African proverb, that it takes a village to raise a child, right?
            Besides parents growing grit from the outside in their own homes with their children, extracurricular activities is another great way to build grit. With extracurricular activities there is usually a more objective adult standing in for the parent who is also demanding and supportive. In addition, this other adult and the extracurricular activity itself is designed by nature to cultivate interest, increase practice and produce purpose and hope. And the beautiful thing is that it really doesn’t matter what the extracurricular activity is because all extracurricular activities are playing fields of grit. So, let’s sign our kids up for something so they can spend at least part of their week doing hard things that interest them.
            You see, this is how it works… School is hard for our young ones, but for many it’s also boring, or at least not intrinsically interesting. Texting their friends is interesting, but not hard. Extracurricular activities, on the other hand, can be the best of both worlds… They can be hard and fun. In addition, kids who participate in extracurricular activities fare better on every conceivable metric.
            Dr. Duckworth talks about a study began in 1978 by Warren Willingham who was the director of the Personal Qualities Project, and which still remains to this day as one of the most ambitious studies ever done to discover what determinants help young people become successful young adults. What he found was the extracurricular activities are a great indicator of future success.
But here was the real secret though… Kids who participate in more than one extracurricular activity and took part for more than one year, who also somehow made great strides became the most successful young adults off all, regardless of what their S.A.T. scores were, or what their grade point average was.
Harvard University has picked up on this fact and bases at least part of their admissions on this. Bill Fitsimmons, the former Dean of Admissions for Harvard says that kid who was consistent and succeeded on one of the extracurricular playing fields of grit, could use that energy and determination for something else purposeful like getting good grades at Harvard, even if that kid no longer participates in that extracurriculars. Sadly, many high schools are facing budget cuts today and are cutting their extracurricular programs…
            According to Dr. Duckworth, without directly experiencing the connection between effort and reward that seems to go hand-in-hand with extracurricular activities, all animals, humans included, default to laziness. Calorie-burning effort is after all, something evolution has shaped us to avoid whenever possible. Taking away extracurricular activities and then accusing kids of being lazy doesn’t seem to add up correctly though. We are the adults. We need to do better.

            Are you doing everything in your power to make sure that our children have opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities and build some grit of their own?
 Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. You can learn more about him at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com.