I was talking to an impact investor about the work I do coaching underserved state university students . I was explaining how most of my work was focused on developing proper mindsets and habits versus focusing on skills.
And somehow we got to the conversation of hiring. He told me that he would rather hire someone who had a good attitude versus someone who was really skilled but didn’t have the right mindset. He actually said that’s why he doesn’t like hiring from the top universities. Many of them have attitudes of entitlement and “I know how to do this – leave me alone”.
“That awkward moment when your name tag uses your real name and not the name that you call yourself”
Over the past few months, I’ve been exploring this conversation with entrepreneurs with successful exits, human resource professionals and changemakers. The consensus seems clear: Attitude trumps skill. But why?
“I don’t need all the fucking features if I can’t even reach the bottle opener” (Photo from wikipedia)
Based on my conversations, I think it can be summed down to three things:
1. Skills are easy to learn. Mindsets, attitudes and habits take time.
2. If people have an unwilling and resistant attitude, trying to train new skills will be useless.
3. A bad attitude is infectious (See: Distinguishing the Devil and the Devil’s Advocate).
Would you hire attitude over skills? Let me know in the comments.
Mission Log is a series of reflections and insights related to my personal journey as an entrepreneur and changemaker.