Attitude is Everything!

January 2, 2014 by Lynn Faughey

positiveWe’ve all heard the expression that “attitude is everything” and I think most of us can agree that there’s a lot of truth in these three simple words. Who hasn’t known someone that can suck the wind out of the sails with their negative attitude? At best it can be annoying, at worst this negativity can affect our own attitude and disposition. Let’s be realistic, when given the choice of the kind of person you would rather associate with wouldn’t you choose the “glass half full” type of person over the “glass half empty” doom and gloomer? Being around this type of person can be emotionally draining and can bring even the most positive of us over to the “dark side”. 

On the professional side, finding people with not just the right skills, but the right attitude is critical. While focused on growing our team of project managers, I’ve been reading many books on hiring and interviewing lately. I’m currently reading a book titled, “Hiring for Attitude” by Mark Murphy, founder and CEO of Leadership IQ. I particularly like this book because it’s a little different and focuses more on attitude and soft skills than typical hard skills, credentials, and experience. What’s really been interesting to me is how much the interviewing process has changed and how those changes have created a whole new way of finding new hires based on more than just a résumé.

I especially like Murphy’s discussion of what he calls the “attitude of coachability”. It’s not always easy to “bring it” in terms of attitude and the desire to grow and prosper. You can have all the skills in the world, but if you’re closed minded to change and inadaptable to progress you’re not likely to find much success personally or professionally. In applying the “attitude of coachability” to FlexPro, we’ve learned that to fit in with the FlexPro team, you have to have a sense of humility and a desire to learn. In our company Mantra, we state, “We are lifelong learners. We share what we learn.” It’s that important to us.

A fact in Murphy’s book that I found very interesting states, “When our research tracked 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months. But even more surprising than the failure rate, was that when new hires failed, 89% of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11% of the time for a lack of skill. The attitudinal deficits that doomed these failed hires included a lack of coachability, low levels of emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament.” Think about that, 89% of the time that a new hire failed it was due to attitude. Not skill, but mindset.

The reality for FlexPro and our ability to succeed and grow is that we’re only as good as the people we hire. Bringing in not just good people, but the rightgood people is something we work very hard at and have learned a lot about over the last six years. One of the most important things we’ve learned is that while someone may look good on paper, there’s so much more than a great résumé that makes a good hire. Attitude really is everything!

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