In which we develop the winning ways that
entice people to our point of view
mployers often go off on tirades about ‘attitude or,
more to the point, the ‘poor attitude of the people who
should be tearfully grateful for the opportunity to work for
them. This attitude thing has got so out of hand that, unbe-
lievably, HR departments have started building in attitude
as a qualification – or more frighteningly in some cases – as
the only qualification. They say, “If you recruit people for
their skill and they have a poor attitude you cant train for
attitude. But if you recruit for attitude you can always train
for a skill. So recruit for attitude, not skill!”
What rubbish. What, I ask you, is an ‘attitude’ and if you
can tell me what it is, what gives people a bad one? It isnt
possible, I suppose, that we might cause it?
Building His Vision
Many years ago I was managing a building project and I had
three people working for me – two had been with me for
years but one was new, young, very strange, and unsettling
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to be with. One day, I paid a surprise visit to the site. I
walked up to the first guy and said,What are you doing?”
What am I doing, boss? Why I’m laying bricks. Im a
brick layer – Flemish Bond if you’re interested!”
I went up to the second guy.
Why are you here?”
“I’m here for ten pounds an hour!”
Finally I came to the weird unsettling kid.
What are you doing?”
What am I doing?” He fixed me with the gimlet stare
of a true fanatic.What am I doing?” his voice raised an
octave. “I’m building a place where ill people can be made
well. Im building a place where the sick can be healed!”
WOW! Now that was an amazing way of looking at his
job. It left me feeling stunned and just a bit humble. What
a different way of looking at things. What a different…
Actually we had to fire him because we were building a
petrol station.
Harness His Enthusiasm
OK, this may or may not be a true story but the point is
that this guys enthusiasm, however apocryphal, was misdi-
rected because I had failed to tell him what he was doing. If
I had sat down with him and explained what I was doing,
what we were creating and what we were building I prob-
ably could have harnessed his passion and enthusiasm just
as much for building a gas station as building a hospital. In
the same way, if people with a diner, a shop, or any other
business sit down with a cup of coffee and some dough-
nuts to explain their plans, hopes and passions, everyone
involved can understand them, put some valuable input into
them, and subsequently deliver profitable results. While we
market busily to our customers we so often fail to market
inside our organisations to our team. If you are reading this
and you run a big company, then you have a team. If you
have a small business, you have a team (maybe just friends
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