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Hire For Attitude - Lessons from Southwest Airlines

The Importance of the Warrior Attitude

Last month we talked about how to set yourself up for success in 2016. One of the keys to success is hiring the right people. We wanted to share with you lessons learned at Southwest Airlines, the company that embraced the "hire for attitude" philosophy.

Sherry Phelps, who spent 33 years at Southwest, helped design many of its hiring practices and explained the philosophy in this Harvard Business Review article. "The first thing we look for is the 'warrior spirit'," Phelps said. "So much of our history was born out of battles - fighting for the right to be an airline, fighting off the big guys who wanted to squash us, now fighting off the low-cost airlines trying to emulate us. We are battle-born, battle-tried people. Anyone we add has to have some of that warrior spirit. We would rather take an eager, hungry, customer-oriented mind and mold it to what works well at Southwest, than try to change the habits of someone who's come up through an organization that views life differently. We're looking for what makes you who you are," Phelps said.

To drive home the importance of the "warrior attitude", watch this 2016 Pokemon Superbowl commercial entitled "Train On" here.

"I can do it!"

Share your hiring success with other COMPEL CEOs here.

Best Regards,

Steve Ramerini
Founder, Chief Visionary Officer & Group Chair

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