Are You A Finder or A Grinder?


Are you a finder or a grinder?  An inside person or an outside person?   I recently spoke to the Albuquerque AMA Chapter about How to Rise Above the Crowd.  I talked at one point about Finders and Grinders.

A couple of people followed up and said those descriptions resonated with them.  One person came up to me after the presentation and shared that she was definitely an inside person but knew she had to get outside more.

During my presentation I shared something I have learned during the New Normal. We have survived a melting of the financial world and have emerged but in a very tentative place. The fear of what we saw in the fall of 2008 and afterwards has created a lot of caution in the business world and a change I think in how people are perceived within organizations.

There is nothing wrong with being either a finder or a grinder. There are definitely a lot of different types of people in the world and I am a big proponent of networking with diversity in mind or else you will live in a homogenous world.

But finders and grinders can be valued differently when it comes to firing time. The decision of who goes and who stays is often a game of musical chair.  There is only one chair and two very qualified people to sit in that chair but only one person can sit down when the music stops.  It will be a short song.

These two people don’t even know this is happening. They are not at the dance. They don’t hear the music.  Their future is being decided by the perception they have created at their companies.  Some employees are very good grinders.  They work hard. They never miss a deadline.  They do all the right things but in the end it may not be enough.

Then there are people that are outside people.  They connect with people at work and they like to go to networking events and be connected in lots of ways. They are connected. Their networks make them well resourced.  They understand the value of social media to build their brand.  They are not superficial.  They are current with the new ways to engage. They have seen the changes that have come and have jumped on the train and often lead the way.

In this day and age the decision who stays and who goes is very difficult because the easy decisions have been made in the five years since the world melted in the fall of 2008.   One thing that had remained the same in the Old and New Normal is that that a person that offers the greatest chance for incremental revenue gets to sit in the chair when the music stops.  And that person is the outside person.

You see there are fewer outside people than inside people.  There are many more grinders than finders.  All are equally valuable but in challenging times the outside person will get the chair all the time.  It may be right.  It may be wrong. But it is reality.


You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank


Watch a video by Hank on Networking Tips for Young People.

You may also enjoy these articles:

Are Solopreneurs the Future in the New Normal?

Networking in My Hood.

She’s Not a Great Networker.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s