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August 9, 2012

News & Opinion: Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 7:31 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

This new book by Anthony Tjan, Richard Harrington, and Tsun-yan Hsieh divides the successful entrepreneur into one of four traits they're biased toward. According to the authors, Heart is about passion, indicative of CEOs like Howard Schultz. Smarts is about brain power, as seen in people like Amazon's Jeff Bezos. Guts is instinctive, like Richard Branson. And Luck is a trait for those who know how to spot it and pursue it, like Zappos' Tony Hsieh.

Each of us side with one of these traits, and maybe even hint at others. Through the book, readers can get a better understanding of where their bias lies, in order to see if an adjustment or allowance toward another might benefit our approach. There's even an Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test the authors created in conjunction with the book to help you with this understanding.

Here's more on the test from the book itself:
Each of our four traits of Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck has a natural starting point that its owner can turn up or down, like a volume dial or an old-school stereo equalizer. We believe most people have the requisite baseline of Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck to build a business, as well as a capacity for realizing greater untapped potential in specific traits. Your HSGL profile isn't fated. It's in a state of continuous evolution based on increasing self-awareness and experiences gained. Taking the E.A.T survey right now will yield an of-the-moment snapshot of your business-building preferences and biases, nothing more or less.

But don't take my focus on the test the wrong way. I'm hung up on aptitude tests today as our new staffer took the Strengthsfinder test, which caused me to dig out the results of mine from 5 years ago (yep, still pretty accurate). Yes, these tests can be insightful, but the books are also important companions to the data. In the case of HSGL, it helps you know your strengths, but also what you might need more of - which encourages you to hire or partner with greater purpose.

Take the test and pick up the book for your team. They'll both help you further hone your skills, and understand the skills of others in order to create a better team.

 

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.