Friday, November 10, 2006

Attitude NOT Aptitude.

There we were, sitting in the C.E.O. of the 2010 Olympic's office, interviewing a man who's passion for being the best supercedes any hidden agenda or ego. He was the last of a long line of who's who... inclusive of the Ohio State Athletic Director, a partner from the Caldwell Partners, the regional manager from the largest drug company in the world, the co-owner of Earls Restaurants, and the HR director from one of the most progressive companies in British Columbia.

The reason for the interview; we had been asked to speak to a group of highschool students on what it takes to be a great employee. Seemed the book we published, Hire Me! struck a cord with someone as it uncovered the pandemic we are about to be faced with in the workforce: Incompetence by attitude.

Our challenge is not having material to speak to the group, it is presenting the material in a manner which engages the audience instead of lecturing them. We feel, speaking 'with' them, carries more value than speaking 'to' them. The main message: You have a responsibility in shaping your dreams. The extent to which you are successful is largely contingent on your attitude. [In simpler terminology of course].

The whole process has been validating, rewarding and liberating from the standpoint of getting the exact same answer to three main questions.

1. What do you look for when hiring people?
2. What separates good students / athletes / employee's from great ones
3. What advice would you give to young people in highschool / college / university today.

Coles notes answers: attitude.

So the 64 million dollar question becomes how do you teach attitude at a young age? Well, to get that answer, you have to sit in on our finshed product, but we can tell you what we learned about how attitude is not taught.

1. Rewarding "participation" instead of recognizing 1-2-3 or fail / pass
2. Fighting our childrens battles & making their decisions for them
3. Disabling consequences for poor behavior & performance
4. Celebrating mediocrity in any way shape or form like its 'ok'
5. Carrying on the misnomer that we are actually all equal
6. Bufferring adversities so young people don't get to experience having their bell wrung.

After speaking to all of these people, it became crystal clear to us that in speaking to young adults (our future world shareholders) - we may just be targetting the wrong audience!

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