MILO Malaysia recently held the MILO Grit Advantage Forum webinar with a panel of experts from the Government, education and corporate sectors as well as startups. The webinar is aimed to uncover values that are critical in building the ‘grit’ quotient among children and young Malaysians.
According to the recently released MILO Grit Advantage Report, 80% of educators and employers in Malaysia agreed that ‘Grit’ as the most important trait that drives a child’s future success. It is an all-encompassing character trait that encapsulates the eight qualities that are critical to a child’s early development as they are to future-proof a child – courage, determination, resilience, tenacity, passion, persistence, endurance and excellence.
The forum featured Datuk Dr Habibah binti Abdul Rahim, Director-General of Education, Ministry of Education Malaysia as special guest speaker among a panel of experts that included Timothy Johnson, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Product & Partnerships, Inti International University & Colleges; Shahzad Umar, Executive Director – Human Resources, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad; Ben Ho, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Talentbank; and Nina Othman, Founder, Grow the Goose and Borneo Cocoa.
Datuk Dr Habibah spoke on the importance of balancing academics with cocurricular activities to achieve future success, as did every 3 out of 4 educators in the MILO Grit Advantage Report. She commented, “Not everything can be learned in the classroom. As such, we at the Ministry of Education Malaysia recognise that academic excellence is not the be-all and end-all metric for success.”
She made a case for sports as a prime example of how grit can be learned outside the classroom. “Parents should introduce sports to their child at an early stage, not only for the physical benefits but also for the values of grit that their child can learn and appreciate from sports,” she added.
The panellists also shared the view that sport is a great teacher of grit. Qualities that can be nurtured by taking part in sport such as drive, determination, hard work and discipline are the building blocks of grit and are as well embodied in the never-give-up spirit, attitude and mindset of champions. The achievement gained through sport is never immediate and is the result of years of training, perseverance and effort. To this point, the panellists agreed that sport complements academics best and is a must-have to support a child’s early development.
It was also highlighted that in the job market, well-rounded talents are preferred over those with just good grades – and that this will continue. With 85% of jobs that will be essential by 2030 do not yet exist, it is all the more reason students and future job seekers today need to develop the grit it takes to thrive and succeed, no matter what the future holds for the job market. The ability to learn and bounce back from one’s mistakes – which, according to the panelists is a critical component of the grit quotient and an important early predictor of success – is severely lacking among young professionals today. Thus, strong character traits are just as crucial as talents and skills in driving professional success in the future.
For the full discussion, tune in to the MILO® Grit Advantage Forum, available for streaming on MILO® Malaysia Facebook.