Hiring Attitude

Hiring Attitude


Att it. It's the beginning of Attitude. The British comedies use it a lot, "Go on, get at it.” There are two ways to get at it with attitude. (Fair warning: I couldn't stay away from the acronyms.)

1. ATTITUDE: Att it Under Dull Expression.

Getting things done while your enthusiasm stays home. In the teams and start-ups we work with, we have a rule: If you are doing something under Dull Expression, then don't do it. Laisez faire—I don't care, let's just get it done. This should not be allowed in any organization. Dull people need to time machine themselves back to the early 90's (or their childhood), when all it took was an ice cold, glass bottled Coca-Cola and a few Dandy chewing gums to become enthusiastic about life. Any task can bore you and the world to death if it's done under DULL EXPRESSION.

On the other hand...

2. ATTITUDE: Att it (with) Undivided, Demonstrative Enthusiasm.

There's a place where I go get lunch 3 to 4 times a week. The name of the bloke who is my waiter is Blessing. He embodies that word. He will call me 2 hours before lunch (calls aren't cheap in Zim) to make sure that I'm coming and ask if I'm in a hurry or if I'm bringing a few friends. If something was left on my plate, he asks me why I didn't finish it and then tries to make it better next time. By golly, he offers me free trials of any new dishes he's experimenting with! He cares so much about his product and his service and how I'm feeling that I cannot help but tip him well every time. This isn't a 5-star dining room, it's a park-bench, pit stop, but it's the best service with the best attitude in the country.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel chain hires people based on attitude. They have a theory that states, "By the time you're 20, you either care or you don't." They figure that it's harder to train someone to care than to train someone how to get a job done.

Undivided Enthusiasm: Divided enthusiasm results in many good starts, but almost no longevity. What you do has to involve genuine love, so it wins attention. Then, customers will feel more loved and workmates will feel more supported.

Demonstrative Enthusiasm: Show me don't tell me. If you really care in your heart and you are a living, breathing, person with a brain (99% of the world), then you can figure out a way to demonstrate it. The Enthusiast goes the extra mile. The Divided Enthusiast talks about his enthusiasm, meanwhile it’s more extinct than the white rhino.

There are tasks and have-to's like, paper filing, housekeeping, certain pieces of admin that don't scream “Excitement," but if you really think about it, you can turn them into great events. The Fish Market in Seattle, Washington is a prime example. Packaging fish for customers just became the coolest game in Seattle. Why? All because of Attitude.

Even gutting, cutting, and packaging raw fish is awesome when your team has the right Attitude. Look for it, desire it, hire for it. You can train skills, but you can’t train genuine attitude.

(photo via gato)