Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hire For Attitude, Train For Skill

I was reviewing my notes yesterday from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit I attended in 2005. When looking over the notes I took from the interview Bill Hybels did with Colleen Barrett (President of Southwest Airlines) I was struck by something simple she said.

She said that when hiring someone they do their best to make sure that the prospective employee has a great attitude above all else. In fact she said that they, “hire for attitude and train for skill.” Pretty simple but it obviously works for them (they consistently outperform most other airlines in almost every category).

This is a list of characteristics Southwest looks for in people:

1. Want to serve from the heart
2. Altruistic and caring
3. Sense of humor—take business seriously but not themselves
4. Common sense
5. Make eye contact with others
6. Mix well with others – introduces themselves…

Again, pretty simple and filled with a lot of common sense. Do you know anyone who could benefit by taking on these characteristics? I know that I plan on sharing this list with each of my children as I know it will help them to be not only better employees someday but also better citizens.

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