Tuesday, 18 October 2011

How do high achieving "Super People" stand out from the crowd?

Travelling back from a day in London, I enjoyed reading an interesting feature article in yesterday's Evening Standard on "Super People".
Super People "have got qualifications coming out of their ears, speak lots of languages and have been 'prepped' for success by the experts, and are set on landing the very top jobs."
The article explores what it takes for the very best to be literally "outstanding". With competition fiercer than ever for places at top universities and for jobs in top firms, how does one "stand out" from the crowd in a world where so many people get top grades? The simple answer is that they have to shine elsewhere, be that in the skills that they have [languages etc] or in what other things that they have achieved.  The article outlines how coaches can 'prep' Supers so that they can build a CV that will enable them to get the top university place/ job.
However, there is a sting in the tail here - the danger is that such an approach is artificial, not grounded and even counter-productive. As one executive coach candidly admitted,
"the biggest problem with Supers is that they only care about one person - the hospital that they helped build in Africa actually to build their own résumé. The charity work is for them, not for the people they claim they are serving."

1 comment:

  1. I agree whole-heartedly with your sentiments. Focussing on producing super-people who stride continents might be fine for producing some one off geniuses but misses out on the vast majority of quieter super people who do jobs at all levels of society. I think of the two ladies who run the dads group I take my boy to once a month. They are both quiet, unassuming individuals but the work and support they provide to a small group of tired and stressed out dads is invaluable and has a huge impact.