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Hire for Attitude, Train for Aptitude

mind Apr 16, 2019

"Hire for Attitude, Train for Aptitude"

You have probably heard this statement before but when push comes to shove, do you do it? Do you stick your neck out and offer the position to someone who has potential but will take more work initially and almost certainly get off to a slower start, or, do you go with the tried and tested who you know will be up and running quickly, even if they don’t always display the best attitude? In my experience, the answer for most organizations is the latter.

How many times have you heard someone say:

“You don’t have the experience that we need”, or,

“We need to see some testimonials from people that you have done this role for in the past”

It happens everywhere, maybe you have even been guilty of this yourself? As an employee this used to frustrate me because how do you get the “experience” if no one gives you a chance? It is also true that everyone starts somewhere so how did the person saying this to you get their “chance”? When you are the recruiter or interviewer, think about what you are saying and look beyond the resume. There are plenty of professional resume writers available for hire so don’t be fooled by what you see on paper.

“If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got!”

The one constant in this world is change. If you are not changing do not fall into the trap of thinking you are maintaining your position, you are actually moving backwards. Too many people, both individually and within organizations, are not prepared to look at growth plans when things are going well. I constantly here things like: “Thanks, but we don’t need any help with training now, we will get back to you when we do.”

This represents the traditional way of thinking that leads to a reactive, or firefighting, mentality instead of a proactive approach that is always searching for constant improvement. Failure to seek out new and exciting opportunities means settling for what you have and therefore accept that what you have is the best it can be. Hoping that things will continue to go well is not a good strategy, you need to have a plan, both for your own growth and that of your organization.

In my corporate career I would consistently hire people who didn’t have extensive experience but who I could see were visionaries with expanded thought processes. I wanted people who would think outside of conventional wisdom and knowledge to provide me with new and innovative solutions. Instead of coming to me with a problem, I encouraged them to bring me solutions, or even better, to look for ways to improve what was already working.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

You have probably heard this statement made many times. I used to live by this mantra until I realized the power of proactive thinking. After all, why wait until something breaks to fix it? Yes, this was a change in mindset for me and it took a while for my teams to understand that it was okay to “plus” ideas, as Walt Disney would call it. If you want to be the best in your field you need the right people, as it is them who make the difference. Anyone can follow a procedure, a.k.a. “the tried and tested”, but the innovative employees with the right attitude are the ones who will carry organizations to sustained success.

Training is important so do not neglect it. Do not wait until things start to decline before you invest time and money in developing your people. Unless, that is, you want to be one of “the pack” instead of the market leader!

If you want to talk about how I can help develop you, or your organization, using world class leadership material from the #1 leadership expert, John Maxwell, and one of the top customer service organizations in the world, The Walt Disney Company, you can email me at [email protected] or schedule a complimentary strategy call here:


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