As Don’t Matter In Business School, But They Do In A Startup

3. Action-orientation.

It’s not about doing your job; it’s about getting the job done. Those who embody this distinction are the ones who push forward. They don’t let an unanswered email or even a “no” get in the way of what needs to happen. They are flexible in finding a way forward. Sometimes, they find a path forward when nobody else sees one. And then they lead us down that path. Persistence and grit are their two most trusty possessions in delivering results.

  • What it looks like:

o    “Well, the first approach wasn’t working, so I took another. That wasn’t working either. But I kept trying until I got what we needed.”

o    Coming to the table ready, after already having thought through the process, timing, and cost of a certain effort because you know you’ll be asked those questions – and you’ll need good answers to them – before the organization can move forward.

  • What it does not look like:

o    “Well, I sent her an email. She just hasn’t responded yet.”

o    “Well, I called.”

Emails and calls don’t deliver results; positive outcomes do.

A+ players exhibit all three “A”s, not just one or two. And startups only have room for A+ players (the successful ones anyway). The art of the startup is to do more with less. And one of the most effective ways to do that is to hire people who do more than their fair share – well and with the right attitude.

If doing more than your fair share – and having outsized impact – sound appealing to you, then I’d highly recommend you try your hand inside a startup.

David Klein is CEO & Co-Founder of CommonBond, a student lending platform that provides a better student loan experience through lower rates and a commitment to community. CommonBond is the first company to bring the One-for-One model to education and finance:  for every degree fully funded on the company’s platform, CommonBond funds the education of a student in need abroad for a full year.