I’ve spent a lot of time interviewing new interns and coffee shop workers recently. In the tons of phone conversations, email exchanges, and face-to-face interviews, there are a few themes developing. I promise you’ve heard this before. It’s just a good review.
- Attitude: The number one most important thing I need as an employer or team leader is for you to come to play with a great attitude. Days are tough. They’re tough for all of us. But when they tough days come, we can choose to get bitter or choose to get better. I’ll go with the latter. Moreover, instead of spending all your time being the one who worries about whether not the other person is accepting you, just be the one who reaches out with a stellar attitude. You be the one who goes the extra mile. I’ll be more than grateful to train you, empower, and pay lots of bonuses! But it’s tough to train, empower and bonus you into having a stellar attitude. I need you to come to play with it!
- Communication: Please talk to me. Please talk to customers. Please talk to others. If you can’t talk, I don’t know if we can work together. The toughest thing for me is when you won’t tell me what’s wrong. I don’t mind listening to problems, because I’d rather try to fix them (see #1). I also know that a lot of hassle can be saved when we just agree to communicate with each other. In fact, I’m willing to argue that 1) you can’t communicate enough, and 2) communication is excellent for the bottom line. Just the other day, we had a bunch of orders made wrong in the shop because we weren’t willing to communicate with each other and double-confirm orders.
- Proactive Thinking: If I want a robot, I’ll buy one. I’m not paying you to be a robot. I’m paying you (whether it’s financial pay or other rewards) to be you, the one who thinks beyond the step just in front of her. I’m paying you, and training you, and empowering you to be the one who goes above and beyond. Perhaps, Seth Godin says it best when he says there is a great get-rich-quick scheme:Enrich your world by creating value for others.
Enrich your health by walking twenty minutes a day.
Enrich your community by contributing to someone, without keeping score.
Enrich your relationships by saying what needs to be said.
Enrich your standing by trusting someone else.
Enrich your organization by doing more than you’re asked.
Enrich your skills by learning something new, something scary.
Enrich your productivity by rejecting false shortcuts.
Enrich your peace of mind by being trusted.
The connection economy pays dividends in ways that the industrial one rarely did.
To those of you who do this consistently, I thank you!