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The ’3Gs’: Mindset Over Skill Set Critical to Landing a Job, Harvard’s Stoltz Says

After years of consistently high unemployment in this country, the job situation is finally start to look up and the hope is this positive trend will continue. (See: The Employment Report: The Private Sector is in Good Health)

Conventional wisdom says employers are looking for employees who have the perfect skill set for the job at hand. However, new research conducted with the help of the world's top employers and scholars overwhelmingly suggests otherwise.

In the new book, Put Your Mindset to Work: The One Asset You Really Need to Win and Keep the Job You Love, Harvard lecturer and PhD Paul Stoltz and co-author James Reed reveal that employers are most interested in candidates who have a certain mindset — regardless of skill set.

Actually, a resounding 96 percent of employers say they would prefer to "hire, promote, pay and retain" people with a particular mindset over a desired skill set. And 98 percent of employers thought it more likely that a person with the right mindset could easily develop the right skill set if they had to, rather than the other way around.

Stoltz sat down with The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task to "define and quantify" what mindset means to employers. He calls his findings the "3G Mindset". It consists of the top three qualities that employers consider most important: global, good and grit.

As Paul explains to Aaron, here's what each "G" means :

Global: This is the big picture perspective. It is your ability to lift your eyes out of the weeds, look at the world and understand the ripple effect of your actions.

Good: This is the sensitivity to people and awareness of and the inkling to do good for others around you.

Grit: This is the intestinal fortitude, that uncommon tenacity, intensity, resilience in everything that you do.

Not only do nearly all employers want to hire people with a winning 3G mindset, they would trade 7.2 "normal" employees for just one person with the perfect winning mindset, says Stoltz.

So how do you demonstrate that you have these to employers?

Simply take one of these 3Gs and put into action in a way that creates a compelling result, whether it is in a cover letter, resume or during the interview. Here are two examples Stoltz gives:

  • Example (good and grit): I fought through several layers of bureaucracy for two years to get a new wellness program implemented in our company.

  • Example (good and global): I volunteered to mentor new hires before and after work hours and cut first-90-day turnover by 72 percent.

You're likely wondering by now about how this all translates into salary -- especially if employers consider one winning mindset 7 times more valuable than a "normal" employee. Stoltz says people with 3G mindsets not only tend to make more money, but they become simply invaluable to employers, which is critical if the time comes for layoffs.

If you'd like to measure your 3G mindset for free, click here.