The Edge, Jack White, and Jimmy Page – the Student, the Grinder, and the Natural. While watching the movie It Might Get Loud in which the 3 guitarist discuss the instrument and their experiences and techniques, the below clip is what stayed with me:
It is interesting, I keep thinking of those 3 as a textbook illustration of hiring in business. The Edge is the classic technical/fundamental student of his craft. Very gifted, but he is always working at it, studying and learning, using all of the latest technology and innovations. Jack White is the grinder – able, but he makes it off of sheer force of will and effort. Then there is Jimmy Page – an absolutely gifted genius in every respect. He sees it, is a student of his craft, of its history, and simply is just one of those special few that come along once in a very long while.
In the end it is all about fit – both for the candidate and the company. What type of person – a student, a grinder or a natural is needed for the company and their role. Conversely, a candidate must know what sort of person they are – a student, a grinder, or a natural and select the right roles and corporate cultures. Typically any of the three are successful. However, make no mistake, there are very few naturals out there – very few. Just watch The Edge and Jack White – even the best know when they are in the presence of a natural – it is a special moment.