Madison Maxey — a very insightful multi-discipline designer/technologist/entrepreneur/fashioner/etc briefly dialoged on this question with me, and graciously gave permission to share her to —
"How do you evaluate people to see whose "got it" and who hasn't?"
What a great question! I'm going to assume that "having it" means having some sort of promise for success (whatever one's definition of success may be). With that in mind, I've found that people who I've seen do really well live loosely by the same guiding mantras:
"I am putting small (or large), consistent amounts of effort into achieving my long term goal of X" (seeing success as a marathon or adventure rather than a sprint)
"I am going to work harder than anyone else to achieve X" (an inner locus of control)
"I am intellectually curious and want to understand everything about X non-X" (these people are generally charming and engaging since they're curious about the world and others)
"I am committed to maintaining important relationships with people who also do X"
"I am capable and willing to execute and achieve X "( a growth mindset)
Of course, I'm sampling for people in my general community, so there are probably mantras that are conflicting, but also lead to successful people!
Personally, I think humility and gratitude are really important components of success and generally being a good human being, but I think we've seen lots of people be "successful" without these so I don't want to lump them in.
I think that's a very sharp set of heuristics. Consistent incremental effort, commitment to working harder than anyone else, curious to know everything on a topic, commitment to associating with other people doing things in a space, and capability and willingness to execute in the area.
Very sharp thinking, a really good set of acid tests there.