sábado, 15 de marzo de 2014

What Thomas L. Friedman Didn’t Report About Getting Hired by Google

Graphic: Max Griboedov / shutterstock / LinkedIn Pulse 

Last month, New York Times op-ed columnist, Thomas L. Friedman, wrote a column entitled, “How to Get a Job at Google.He did not report that this is how to get a job anywhere.
His op-ed focused on an interview with Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google. It pointed out that a high grade-point average is not a predictor of success.

Bock was quoted as saying, “…For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q.

  • It’s learning ability
  • It’s the ability to process on the fly
  • It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information
We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.

While Google has dubbed this learning ability – we have codified it through cognitive assessments of hundreds of executives, plus guiding the hiring of thousands more as Learning Agility. In fact, I focused a post on Learning Agility in November entitled, “How to Get Hired By Twitter – Or WalMart.

I noted then that we have found that learning agility is the leading predictor of success No. 1 above intelligence and education.

While Friedman reported on one company, I am writing to tell you that learning agility will get you a job anywhere – from Walmart to Twitter, to Google, to Facebook, to GM, to Tata, to L’Oreal and more.

And, in today’s workplace, jobs and job responsibilities change quickly. So, the key to retaining a job and growing in your career is learning agility.

The Peter Principle, which asserts that employees will continue to get promoted until they reach their highest level of incompetence, has evolved. Today employees don’t need to get promoted to become incompetent. They will become incompetent in their current jobs if they don’t grow, adapt, and evolve.

If you stop growing and learning, your job will outgrow you. If you grow and learn faster than your job, employers will always want you.

The other thing that Friedman did not tell you is that the “learning agile” 

  • uncover new challenges
  • solicit direct feedback
  • self-reflect, and 
  • find ways to get jobs done resourcefully
  • They see unique patterns and 
  • make fresh connections that others overlook.

A Korn Ferry study of sales managers bears this out: The higher an individual’s learning agility, the more promotions he or she received during a 10-year period. Similarly, longitudinal studies observed that managers who modified their behaviors, exhibited flexibility, and accepted mistakes as part of learning new competencies, were more successful than their counterparts as they climbed the corporate ladder.

There are five factors to Learning Agility:

  • mental agility, 
  • self-awareness, 
  • people agility, 
  • change agility, and 
  • results agility.

The net-net is that most successful executives are able to 

  • move out of their comfort zone, 
  • take risks, 
  • learn from mistakes, and 
  • begin anew as they encounter new assignments
  • The successful leaders continually learn, bend, and flex as their work world changed. 
In other words, they were learning agile.

While Friedman explained how to get hired at Google, it was the tip-of-the-iceberg of how to get hired anywhere, anyplace, anytime.

Now please go back to work, make a mistake, learn from it – and then apply the learning to the next situation.


By Gary BurnisonInfluencer Chief Executive Officer at Korn/Ferry International
March 13, 2014

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