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10 Reasons Why B Students Are Likely To Be Successful

10 Reasons Why B Students Are Likely To Be Successful

It’s an incredibly ironic belief that straight-A students will automatically be more successful than their B-average counterparts. In this day and age, there are so many stories about people who dropped out of high school or college to become world-renowned entrepreneurs. To be clear, these people didn’t drop out because they couldn’t hack it, but because they saw no point in getting a 4.0 while taking electives they had no interest in. They chose to create their own paths. Most “B students” are really “A students” that have chosen to focus on other aspects of their lives, while maintaining their grades as best they can.

Disclimer: This is no attack on A students — everyone learns and works in their own way. Keep doing what you’re doing!

1. They don’t waste time on frivolous studying

B students don’t love doing homework or studying for exams. Nobody really does, but B students don’t feel the need to make it a priority. Sure, they get it done, and they learn enough to pass the tests, but they also spend time outside the library. B students rarely turn down opportunities to go on adventures or do something fun because they have a project due later in the week. They understand that an impromptu adventure will do more for them in the long-run than remembering dates from a history book.

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2. They focus on other interests

B students are generally quite intelligent. They just don’t feel the need to learn only what their teachers tell them to learn. When they find something that interests them, they will put their all into it. Again, they don’t completely shirk their responsibilities. They’ll learn enough about a subject to pass with a decent mark. While they were earning that B-minus in chemistry, they were busy designing a new computer program, or learning to shred like Jimi Hendrix. You can’t put a grade on that.

3. They follow their passions

Along with having other interests, they don’t let school get in the way of their passions. Many A students graduate having no clue what they even like to do, since they spent four years making the grade to please their parents and teachers. B students, on the other hand, graduate high school with a sigh of relief, knowing they’ll soon be able to go to school for something they enjoy. When B students are able to finally enjoy their studies, something incredible happens: They become A students.

4. They’re more relaxed

B students don’t always need to be the best or get top marks. Yes, they still freak out if they fail a test. But, they don’t set unrealistic expectations for themselves, and are often pretty happy with the results they get. Even when following their passion, they don’t lose their mind when they don’t get something right; they just practice harder for the next time.

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5. They multitask

A students may lock themselves away for hours on end in order to study. B students, on the other hand, study in between reading up on the news, checking on other projects, and generally keeping up with the things that actually interest them. I’m not saying it’s good to have your phone out while you should be focusing on a task, but in most modern jobs you might have to juggle five different priorities at any given time. Being able to wear many hats is a necessity, and B students have practiced doing that for years.

6. They are “Jacks of all trades”

Although many B students have passions and priorities outside of school, many don’t know what their passion is yet. Because of this, they get involved in a variety of areas, testing the waters to see which they like most. In doing so, they often pick up enough to become much more than beginners in a variety of practices.

I’m not the best guitarist in the world, but considering it’s a small hobby of mine, I’m pretty darn good. Same with playing chess, fishing, writing, interpreting literature and poetry — the list goes on. My wife, who is in her final year of optometry school, tells me that a lot of people she’s met throughout her schooling are absolute master optometrists, but don’t have half the amount of knowledge I do about generally everything else in the world. I might not be a master at one thing, but I definitely am well-rounded enough to find a job in a variety of areas.

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7. They’re entrepreneurial

Since they tend to follow their passion, and not just regurgitate what their teacher wants them to say, B students often think outside the box. They see something that can be improved and they work towards doing so. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the practical, critical thinker is usually the one who isn’t afraid to go against the grain a bit. While A students tend to toe the line, B students are the ones asking why there’s a line in the first place. They look at the world from an analytical position, and question policies and procedures they don’t agree with. While A students keep the world moving, B students are the ones that want to change it.

8. They’re easy to relate to

My mother teaches high school English, and this year has had the pleasure of having an absolute genius in her class. As a teacher, she loves it because she sees incredible potential in the young man. The other students, on the other hand, groan whenever he raises his hand, and it most likely stems from the fact that they have no idea what he’s talking about half the time. He’s just on another level. Again, this isn’t a dig at him, as being incredibly intelligent isn’t a bad thing at all. However, there’s something to be said for the people who can take complex ideas and bring them down to earth, so “us normal people” can understand. Being well-rounded and well-educated, while also maintaining a sense of “being real,” takes B students much farther than good grades ever will.

9. They’re realistic

B students are realistic about their goals, their accomplishments, and their abilities. They set goals that are attainable, and continue to set more goals once previous ones have been reached. B students usually tend to downplay their accomplishments. This might be because they know they could have achieved more with a bit more focus, or because they don’t place huge importance on extrinsic rewards. B students know that there are some things they just aren’t great at, and they accept that. By eliminating the drive to be the best at everything, they often excel at that which they wish to excel at.

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10. They are self-defined

B students are not defined by a grade given to them by a teacher who is a master at that specific subject. They define their accomplishments and worth by what it means to them. The grade doesn’t matter — the experience does. It’s incredibly possible that many A students can go through high school without actually understanding anything, simply regurgitating notes the teacher gave them. However, it’s also possible that B students can perform above average most of the time, and earn A’s when they truly comprehend a topic and put their all into it. But again, the satisfaction does not come from earning a higher grade, but from knowing the job was done well.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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