By: Lisa Marie Koebcke

We had a really cool experience last week and wanted to share it in the form of a blog. Chad’s jiu-jitsu coach is writing a book on highlighting what entrepreneurs view as important in parenting vs. the opinions of those in the education system. We had the opportunity to answer a list of questions that really sparked some interesting conversation in our house. Don’t worry, this isn’t a blog where I recommend how to parent – but to give you the context, one question we were asked was, “What do you think the most important skill kids should learn in school today for their future?”

My answer? Perseverance.

(I can’t say perseverance without my husband referencing James 1)

Looking at it from both an educator and entrepreneur perspective, perseverance is by far the most important. I am talking good old-fashioned grit. The dust yourself off and try again, and again, and again…and again type of mentality.

Ironically, this is one of the same attributes I find to be the most important in employees. It’s not so obvious when you hire because everyone is putting their best foot forward. In fact, you may not even realize that it is lack of grit that’s frustrating you. You may blame your gripes about a certain employee on things like tardiness, lack of attention to detail, chronic excuses, rushing through projects, and the like. I would argue that the underlying trait that’s most likely missing is that person’s inability to persevere through a challenge. When perseverance is missing, you get the opposite trait, also known as laziness.

So how do you avoid hiring a lazy employee? Some quick tips:

  1. Make the interview process one where the person must jump through hoops. Little things that would make the indifferent candidates give up include following a set of sequenced instructions or submitting something of depth that takes time and is unique to your application.

  2. Conduct multiple interviews in different formats. By conducting written, phone, face-to-face, and even business dinner interviews, you can see if the person’s can-do attitude holds up over time.

  3. Have a trial period. Don’t hire with the expectation it will work out. Implement a 60 or 90-day trial period where the employee has a chance to show their true colors.

So, what do you think the most important kill kids should learn school today for their future? How does that change how you hire? Let us know!