Why You Need Both Natural & Striver Origin Stories

So I caught a business telly slot on our unconscious bias towards natural talent over hard work.

Which surprised me greatly.

Research was presented by Chia-Jung Tsay. An assistant professor at the University College London School of Management. She apparently has a particular interest in hidden psychological biases.

It seems that in music, “judges favour innate ability”.

So much for 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.

Even though she notes that empirical evidence promotes persistence and hard work, she observes that ability trumps drive in our perceptions of winners. Even when we state we value effort more.

The Economist sum up, under a title of delicious old-school football comparison; “recruiters and investors think talent counts for more than determination”.

If it is true that people exhibit a preference for potential over the proven, then that has implications for our backstory pitch.

The classic is for how the company/division/start-up began.

Closely followed by how your sparkly new product was created.

Which side do yours lean?

I reckon most I hear bang heavily on the hard work door.

As quoted;

Ms Tsay suggests that naturals may be chosen because they are deemed to be better at adapting to an uncertain future

Whether naturals or strivers was hinted at with her test subjects.

And natural ability beat effort in selections.

So perhaps the message for us is to have an alternative pitch lined up.

We no doubt all have the hard knocks and bruises tales. The long nights and lost weekends to practice, endless iterations or surmount sticky hurdles. Overnight successes actually years in the making.

So how about crafting one where genius shines through. Like in the movie A Beautiful Mind, how a complex maths problem can be solved by a prodigy. When they stare at the blackboard full of chalked equations, the answer simply leaps out.

And this can then stretch across how you Service, your Delivery and Development. All of which can also suitably surreptitiously suggest the path to future glory is more likely through you.

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