When we see credentials behind someone’s name we are often immediately impressed. Letters like PhD, MD, PT and others indicate academic, clinical professional achievement and grab our attention; especially if there are many and begin to string out like Campbells’ alphabet soup. But how impressed with highly credentialed or “lettered” people should we be?
I have to admit that growing up as kid and well into my early career, lettered people impressed me. If a person had letters behind their name (take your pick, whatever letters you want), they had my attention. In my mind, a lettered person was by nature a superior performer so I always became very deferential to them.
Even though I became a physical therapist (PT) and earned my own professional “letters” at age 22, I continued to be highly impressed with lettered people. However, as I began to work with these folks, began to lead them and then earned a bunch more letters myself (in additions to my PhD, at one time I held a total of 8), my view of lettered people became more tempered and aligned with reality.
There is no question that for work in selected fields, especially those highly technical in nature, specialized training resulting in a degree is necessary. But that is just the ante to get in the game. To be a real game changer you have to have your GSD (Get Stuff Done) degree.
The only pre-admission requirements for a GSD degree are a willingness to work, learn, get messy, had have a “move it forward” attitude. There are a variety of schools that offer the degree (including the School of Hard Knocks), limitless locations and settings. One problem is that you don’t get any pretty letters to go behind your name when you graduate, so how can you tell who has a GSD degree? The content from my last C12 meeting laid them out perfectly.
People with their GSD degree:
- Perceive themselves as responsible to the customer- they solve problems and deliver value.
- Sense a direct financial connection to the results of their work- they have an owners mentality whether they are an owner or not.
- Never think, “it’s not my job.”- they step-up, do what it takes, and don’t always have to be told what to do.
- Exhibit personal responsibility.- their general attitude is “if it’s to be, it’s up to me.” They’re committed to improving and growing, and taking calculated risks.
- Pursue continuing education and training- They’re committed to lifelong learning and continuous improvement in serving their internal and external customers.
- Don’t just work at something, but continually reflect on it- they exhibit curiosity and ongoing inquiry with an endless quest for insight and understanding.
- Seek personal growth, not just promotions- their goal is to become better a professional as well as a better person.
- Behave as if “self-employed.”- they “own it” and know the more professional they are the more value they add to themselves and those they serve.
Just as important as being able to tell who has a GSD degree is knowing why it’s important. When you want something done, it actually has to get done in order to “get done”…and it needs to be done the right way, often at the right time and most of the time when you aren’t around. You can’t afford to settle and mistake activity for accomplishment. Just because someone has letters behind their name does not mean they can generate the passion, responsibility, grit and drive to execute and see a job through to completion.
Too often we are enamored by and look immediately to the most credentialed person while overlooking the importance and value brought to the table by someone who has their GSD degree. In many cases a less credentialed person (sometimes much less) with a GSD degree is a much better choice.
Who on your staff, in your organization or in your family has a GSD degree? Make sure you can put a face with name when you answer that question and then consider if you’re giving them the consideration they deserve. Do you have your GSD degree? If you’re reading this post it’s likely you do. If not or it’s incomplete, there’s never a better time than the present to get started; class is always open.
Which of the 8 GSD qualifications are exhibited regularly by you or those you lead and which to you want to see more of?
Please leave a comment if there are other signs that help you recognized someone with a GSD degree and perhaps more importantly, what you’ve found to be effective for facilitating a GSD mindset and behaviors. We would all love to hear.