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Send Your Duck To Eagle School?

Never Send A Duck to Eagle School

(Originally penned in September, 2013)

Yes! You read that correctly..2013.

(I have continued to learn a lot of business lessons over the years from the Animal Channels. And, that means I have to listen hard and read between the lines during commercials.)

I am obligated to live with the firing of the synapse in my brain every day. You only get to see evidence of that process as you zoom through “So How’s That Working For You?” once a week. I have some really interesting conversations with myself at times, (and NO, I don’t start those conversations). I automatically see linkages between things that cause me to, at times, get some “RCA tilted-head-dog” reactions. (If you’re not ever 45 you may have to ask around about the dog.) So, this week let’s see what it takes to get you to tilt your head as you read about what’s in your head.

“You Can’t Send a Duck to Eagle School”. That book title caused me to ponder the “hope system” that many managers and business owners employ as they engage in interviewing. It’s sort of recruiting for technical skills and failing to realize that behavior and fit have been proven to be critical to successful hiring and retention. After all, a duck is a fowl. And, an eagle is a fowl too, right? Ergo, a duck equals an eagle. Right? No, WRONG. Said another way, when a company is recognized for exceptional customer service it’s probably very likely that they hire people who have a history of customer-focused behaviors; not just a technical certification attesting to their technical knowledge.

Some things are not as complex as we make them. For instance, what do you think is the #1 characteristic of a “great boss”? The folks at Gallop Polling were apparently intrigued with this subject and surveyed 3 million people before they had enough confirmation to publish their findings. Once they had 1,000,000 who felt they had or ever had, a great boss they asked the reason for their assessment. (That means they asked “Why do you think they were a great boss?”) And, here’s the reason you should keep reading “So How’s That Working For You?”. I’m going to save you the cost of a graduate-level Management degree by telling you what Gallop discovered. The number one ranked reason for determining a boss was great was…they (the bosses) were willing to listen to what they (the person) had to say. The act of listening is linked to perceived respect. …and it doesn’t cost anything to do it.

If ATTITUDE isn’t everything, it’s pretty darn close. You have total control of the attitude you select every day. You model, or benchmark, acceptable attitudes for your department or organization, by what you allow in your department or company. What do you “bring to the game” every day? And what is expected of the people you surround yourself with/ fill positions in your organization with? Be a player. Hire players. Never hire spectators.

Now to wrap things up…today’s key learnings are: You’ve got it….straight from the gospel of ducks and eagles, if your business service is tree climbing, try to hire a squirrel with a great attitude and not a horse with a bad attitude. But if a horse shows up with a pair of tree-climbing spikes over its shoulder… (Wait for it. It will make sense in just a little while.) Keep it Simple, respect the people around you and they will respect you. The Attitudes around you are the ones you tolerate and reinforce.


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