The Single Most Important Trait in a Hire? Surprise!
“Years ago, we were in the midst of making a difficult hiring decision between three very good attorneys. You made a statement that left a deep impression on me. I asked for your opnion and you said, ‘Hire the candidate that is going to be the most grateful.’”
This is a key trait that I look for in all candidates whether they are working at Inspired Work or with one of our clients. If they work with me, there are several more. You see, in 1990, when I was designing what became Inspired Work, I began redesigning my own work based on a new standard: Happiness. Not just any happiness would do. I wanted Irrevocable Happiness. In other words, if I were in an unrelenting state of happiness, what would my life look like? I find that when we raise the bar that high, the answers become deeply personal. One of the answers to that question changed my professional life forever.
“I would only work with brilliant and loving people.”
It seems that human nature is such that we don’t write out many words like this because something inside of us believe greatness isn’t possible. But that day, brilliant and loving became a standard and hence, it changed my life.
Let’s return to gratitude. I find that many employers and hiring managers look for either a great functional fit (technical skills, motivation, culture fit, etc.) or someone who fits their bias (someone they are comfortable with). But, once we have defined that a few candidates are good fits, what about gratitude?
When somebody embodies gratitude, they uplift everyone else. With gratitude we become more contributive and practice a higher degree of courage to protect a valuable state-of-mind.
Let us also suggest that gratitude is just as important to develop amongst hiring managers and organizational cultures. How do we see this?
Robert Maurer, the Director of Behavioral Science at UCLA Medical School has long studied success behavior and he tells us that successful people are generous in both giving and receiving praise. Expressing our gratitude towards others is optional in a mediocre culture but it is essential to a great culture. And, as others praise us, it is equally important to accept the praise graciously. When we tell someone, “Oh, it was nothing,” what are we actually saying?” Think about this. We are telling them don’t look at me, don’t give me attention, and don’t reward me. Unfortunately, people who run from attention are often the first ones to be laid off.
Grateful employees, leaders, CEOs, partners, colleagues, and bosses fuel good in others.
So, when you are lucky enough to have several great candidates to choose from, ask your hiring influences a few questions:
“Which one will be so grateful to be here he or she will do whatever it takes to succeed?”
“Which one will love our tribe so much, they actively learn the skills to stay competitive and effective?”
“Which one will tell the world about us with enthusiasm and joy?”
“Which one will I be most grateful to include in our tribe?”
You see, gratitude is a practice that can transform mundane days into remarkable experiences. It can elevate a routine job into a turning point. Gratitude can take what looks like an ordinary job and have it turn into a home.
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