Black Belt Leader as Team Builder: Part Three

I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” 

Albert Einstein

Here’s an example of a company Southwest Airlines whose practice of “hiring for attitude” bears witness to Einstein’s vision of equality among all human beings.

“Not everyone who applies for a job at Southwest Airlines makes it through their screening process. Even with pilots, whose technical proficiency is extremely important, attitude also plays a major role. A highly decorated military pilot – on paper, he ranked among Southwest’s all-time best applicants – applied for a position. On his way to Dallas for the interview, this pilot was rude to the customer service agent at the ticket counter where he received his transfer pass. When he arrived for the interview he seemed cold and arrogant to the receptionist. These episodes suggested to the interview team that, although the pilot was highly qualified on the technical side, he didn’t have the right attitude for Southwest. He was automatically disqualified.”

The “right attitude” for Southwest Airlines means that their prospective job applicants would treat everyone, regardless of their position in the company, with equal respect and value. No one, not even an Albert Einstein, is more important than any other human being.  

For “Black Belt Leaders in the Making,” this understanding of equal value among team members is not only prudent it is an investment in the long-term success of their organization.