Attitude vs Skills: Which is more important?

This pretty well sums up why Southwest Airlines is the most consistently profitable airline on the planet. Its co-founder the late Herb Kelleher, used to say “We hire for attitude, train for skill.”

This hiring policy supports Tom Peters’ advice that “soft [skills] is hard and hard is soft” but what’s interesting is that most businesses seem to be intent on hiring for skill while passing on attitude.

Obviously, there’s a dividing line somewhere but given the importance today of co-operation and collaboration, the realization that synergy comes from diversity, and the understanding that you won’t find insights inside the lines, I suspect Herb’s policy is more important than ever and the dividing pendulum favors attitude.

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