A conversation I had with the owner of a Worldpay ISV partner three months ago went something like this:
- ISV: “There’s this great salesperson I’ve known for years – he’s the kind of guy who could open lots of doors for us. I’ve been trying to convince him to join our team for six or seven weeks now, but he’s still not sure.”
- Me: “Wouldn’t you prefer to have someone who might have less relevant experience but really wants to work for you? Wouldn’t you prefer to have someone who’s excited about the job and your company? If you’re begging someone to join you, you’re probably going to have to beg them to stay.”
- ISV: “I hadn’t thought of it that way. I’ll have to think about that.”
I reconnected with that same ISV executive just a few weeks ago, and our chat went something like this:
- ISV: “I hired a salesperson. I’ve known her for a while and she always spoke highly of our company, but I hadn’t considered her because her experience wasn’t in our industry. But when I mentioned the job, she jumped at the opportunity. She said, ‘I would love to sell software. I would love to work with you guys.’ What was supposed to be a dinner turned into a four-hour conversation about strategy and growing my business.”
Because passion can’t be found on a resume, many hiring managers don’t go looking for it. But if you hire someone without a passion for your company, your values, your culture, your product, your industry, etc. you’re likely going to be disappointed in their performance and will be looking for their replacement soon.
Instead of me haranguing you more about passion, let’s hear from former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in excerpts from his book Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time:
(Note: These 36 excerpts have been whittled down from the original list of 120 quotes I highlighted in the book when I first read it in 2010. In other words, the summary below is a Tall, not a Venti.)
- Care more than others think wise. Dream more than others think practical. Expect more than others think possible.
- If people relate to the company they work for, if they form an emotional tie to it and buy into its dreams, they will pour their heart into making it better.
- My story is as much one of perseverance and drive as it is of talent and luck. I willed it to happen. I took my life in my hands, learned from anyone I could, grabbed what opportunity I could, and molded my success step by step.
- I’d encourage everyone to dream big, lay your foundations well, absorb information like a sponge, and not be afraid to defy conventional wisdom.
- Every company must stand for something. Starbucks stood not only for good coffee, but specifically for the dark-roasted flavor profile that the founders were passionate about. That’s what differentiated it and made it authentic.
- You don’t just give the customers what they ask for. If you offer them something they’re not accustomed to, something so far superior that it takes a while to develop their palates, you can create a sense of discovery and excitement and loyalty that will bond them to you.
- As boss, if you close your ears to new ideas, you may end up closing off great opportunities for your company.
- Naysayers never built a great enterprise.
- If you stop being the scrappy underdog, fighting against the odds, you risk the worst fate of all: mediocrity.
- Even the world’s best business plan won’t produce any return if it is not backed with passion and integrity.
- Whether you are the CEO or a lower level employee, the single most important thing you do at work each day is communicate your values to others.
- If you share your mission with like-minded souls, it will have a far greater impact.
- If I sense that a person lacks integrity or principles, I cut off any dealings with him.
- A business plan is only a piece of paper, and even the greatest business plan of all will prove worthless unless the people of a company buy into it. It cannot be sustainable, or even implemented properly, unless the people are committed to it with the same heartfelt urgency as their leader.
- Who wants a dream that’s near-fetched?
- People are not a line item.
- When companies fail, or fail to grow, it’s almost always because they don’t invest in the people, the systems, and the processes they need.
- What I tried to do was honor the individuals around me, let them paint colors and make mistakes without telling them they were wrong.
- Whenever I’m hiring a key executive, I look for integrity and passion. To me, that’s just as important as experience and abilities.
- Wall Street cannot place a value on values.
- The same pace and passion that made us great also at times burned people out.
- Sometimes what’s hardest – for me and strong-minded leaders like me – is restraining myself, allowing other people’s ideas to germinate and blossom before passing judgment.
- Many entrepreneurs fall into a trap: They are so captivated by their own vision that when an employee comes up with an idea, especially one that doesn’t seem to fit the original vision, they are tempted to quash it.
- It’s demoralizing, I know from experience, to get fired up about a great new idea only to have it dismissed by higher-ups.
- When things are going well, why change a winning formula? The simple answer is this: Because the world is changing.
- At Starbucks, we discovered along the way that sustainability is directly linked to self-renewal. Even when life seems perfect, you have to take risks and jump to the next level, or you’ll start spiraling downhill into complacency without even realizing it.
- Any product-oriented company has to keep reinventing its core product if it expects to prosper, let alone survive.
- We believed the best way to meet and exceed the expectations of customers was to hire and train great people.
- So much of the retailing experience in America is mediocre.
- When you meet with an experience at a higher level, where you are treated positively, where someone goes out of her way to make you feel special, where you’re welcomed with a smile and assumed to be intelligent, the experience stands out.
- Authentic brands do not emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does.
- I left the top marketing position empty for 18 months while we searched for the right person.
- We set out to win, no doubt about that, but our goal is to win with integrity.
- Even more than their stock options, baristas told us they cared about the emotional benefits they got from their jobs.
- The more heartfelt our commitment, the more these setbacks will hurt, but the more we’ll be capable of devising solutions that reflect our values.
- In the ethical vacuum of this era, people long to be inspired.
Jim Roddy is a Reseller & ISV Business Advisor for Worldpay’s PaymentsEdge Advisory Services. He has been active in the POS channel since 1998, including 11 years as the President of Business Solutions Magazine, six years as a Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) board member, and one term as RSPA Chairman of the Board. Jim is regularly requested to speak at industry conferences and he is author of Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer and On The Edge with Jim Roddy.