People who learn worth a lot

I spoke to a company’s president who likes to get involved in the company’s executives recruitment process. When I asked him what he values on the candidates, he replied with no hesitation:
“There are two variables: ability to deliver results and permanent enthusiasm for learning.”


This president is a champion of assertiveness. He knows the company needs results to survive. However he is interested in sustainable and growing results, which can only be achieved through people that are in constant evolution. For this reason, the genuine desire for learning became a sought-after quality in the corporative world.
Due to visions like this, companies are becoming schools.


Nevertheless, there is a difference between this type of school and the University you went to. At the University you had a professor with whom you shared the responsibility of your training. In the company, this responsibility is entirely on your shoulders. If the companies appreciate who wants to learn, they have special predilection for those who don’t wait for someone to come and teach them. The duty of learning is exclusively yours. In that sense, curiosity, intellectual uneasiness and the continuous search for knowledge started to be part of the range of characteristics companies appreciate. Well, at least the well managed companies.


Regarding what the president said, we have two variables, which leave us with four possibilities. Let’s see: who displays low performance and high desire for learning is a potential – the company invests. Who displays good performance, but limited desire for learning, is accommodated – the company questions. Who displays high performance and great aspiration for learning is a talent – the company recognises and retains. Lastly, who displays both variables in low levels no longer finds a space – the company eliminates.


Note that in the human resources world, being a talent is not about having a special ability, artistic gift or superior intelligence. Being a talent is to be able to combine performance with the will for learning and evolution. Therefore, being a talent is a question of desire.


Translation: Melissa Mussak ([email protected])