Everyone shouldn't get a trophy all of the time

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.

- Booker T. Washington


3 Reasons "Snowflakes" Lack Grit & Determination


Of course, Booker T. Washington's quote is assuming you weren't the lucky winner of the, as of now, $1.4 BILLION Powerball.  For the rest of us, our success is usually determined by the amount of effort, self-improvement, and ingenuity we're willing to expend to reach our goals.  What is unfortunate is when employees and/or management marginalize those efforts to the point where simply "being along for the ride" is equally rewarded.  Here are a few highlights.


1) Everyone Gets a Gold Star

Grit, determination, and effort are devalued when everyone is coddled ALL of the time. How hard would you feel like working if everything is "graded on a curve" and everyone "wins" by default? When you put in some serious work, you want to be rewarded accordingly. When hard work and perseverance is marginalized, the company productivity is marginalized, and EVERYONE loses...


2) The Manager "Buddy" or "The Parent"

Who actually wants a parent for a boss?! Life is too short for that drama! When middle-management is full of "parents" and "buddies", it's a recipe for mediocrity. This is EXTREMELY important to remember when YOU'RE interviewing for a job. Prepare questions for the hiring manager beforehand, and your potential boss. Remember, it's your interview too. Interview THEM to ensure that you end up working with/for people you respect.


3) Focused on Fun & Entertainment

Bottom line, being "entertained" at work doesn't make the company money.  If the company isn't making money, YOU'RE not making money.  Even in cases where wages are artificially inflated to a much higher level than the industry average, such as all the "living wage" and $15/hr minimum wage that's been abuzz in the news lately, it ultimately ends up being a short term gain that becomes detrimental to company profitability and often drives businesses OUT of business.  Just take a look at the fiasco with Gravity Payments earlier last year, after their CEO instituted a $70K minimum wage for all employees, and summarily lost most of his best employees.  One of the most effective ways an employee can often become successful, involves a subtle change in mindset that does not sacrifice long term success for short term gains.  More on that in a bit.


I'm sure you're thinking, "Don't just tell us what's wrong.  Tell us how we can fix it!"  Thankfully, there are a handful of simple fundamentals that can drastically improve the success of a company and the success of its employees.  The "what" is simple, though achieving the mindset is sometimes difficult for a lot of people.  Regardless, here's a few tips:


Reward & Constructive Criticism

  • These 2 things are some of the most valuable tools a person has to shape the future success of themselves, their teams, and their companies
  • For a team member to feel valued and encouraged to continue working productively and with determination, they need to be rewarded accordingly.  Lack of some form of reward to acknowledge this effort, ultimately ends up breeding mediocrity in the workplace.  Afterall, if there is nothing "more" to work towards, why do more than the bare minimum.
  • If you unfortunately happen to work in such an environment, where reward has become an urban myth, you might want to give some serious thought about examining your other options, and making necessary plans to be able to put in your 2 weeks notice and sign on with a company that will recognize your potential.


Treat Business Profit As If It Was Your Own

  • Regardless of your place on the food chain within your company, when you're able to start thinking and acting as if the company's profit is effectively like your own, you will begin to care quite a bit more about ensuring the stability of that profit
  • At the end of the day, if you make the company more profitable, you'll end up profiting as well.
  • Where people make the mistake is focusing solely on their own profitability, to the point of wanting the business to make great sacrifices for their own individual profitability, even when it's to the detriment of the business.


Use Your Free Time Wisely

  • While you're busy enjoying freedom on your off-days, just remember, there's someone out there. Putting. In. Work.  Consider doing that a bit more, yourself, in your free time.
  • Gain some education
    • Did you know that a large number of universities actually offer much of their course material FOR FREE, online?  If you're looking to improve your position in life, knowledge has effectively become "free" in most cases.  It just requires effort to seek it out and do something with it.
    • Here's a few ideas to get you started:
  • Learn a skill or a trade
    • Sometimes it's just downright useful to learn how to do various things for yourself.  Sometimes it's fun.  If you're able to align those things with your profession or future business plans, so much the better!

Last Updated: January 12, 2016
About the author

    Travis Brown

    Travis is a digital marketer, strategist and web developer with Jobs2Careers. He's taken web development ideas from concept to reaching millions of users around the country. Travis started with computers in the 80's, the internet on BBS' in the early 90's and has been in the tech industry professionally for over 10 years. His programming experience includes a wide variety of languages such as: PHP, EmberJS, Golang, Python, Elm, and even a trivial bit of Haskell for good measure! When he's not busy at work, you'll find him experimenting with fun, exciting, and challenging new web development endeavors.