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A thimbleful of ability or a bucketful of the right attitude?

As you go through life, you encounter these small moments that really change the way you see the world don’t you? I am sure you know what I mean. I'm talking about those little things that happen, or that someone says, or that you see, that teach you something new. The title of this article is one of them. I won’t bother to relate the whole circumstances surrounding the back story to it, but the gist was that someone I knew was very talented at their job and highly skilled but was badly under-performing. I was a little stumped as to why and mentioned it to a far more experienced person, at which point and they said:

“Well, honestly, ask yourself which is best, a thimbleful of ability or a bucket full of the right attitude?”

The reason for the underperformance wasn’t that they lacked ability, it was that they lacked the desire and attitude to be a good employee.

We see a lot of potential candidates here at 24-7 Staffing over four very different industry sectors, and our experience of them is that the ones who succeed are the ones with the right attitude towards their working lives. As a rule, they do their job to the best of their ability, but they also consistently meet and exceed the basic expectations of any employer. It is simple things like:

•    Arriving a few minutes early not just ‘on time’.

•    Being adaptable to change, training and expanding their role. 

•    Positive outlook, avoiding gossip and negativity.

•    Doing excellent work but not seeking attention for it.

•    Being a team player and helping others succeed.

While nobody expects you to be some kind of super worker, having a positive outlook and taking a few simple steps like the ones above will really make you stand out as good employee. Not only that, we all know that we enjoy a task more if we are really invested in doing it, so it creates a sort of positive cycle where performing better at work makes you improve even more.

One of the interesting things about this list is that your basic job role will probably not mention any of them except perhaps the usual expectation of being a team player. As a result, one common response from the less than invested employee will be ‘but I am not paid for that’. OK, well no, not in a financial sense but you will be paid back for it in a very real way. Having the right attitude will give you more job security, less stress, create promotion opportunities, put you in control of your day and help with your work-life balance. More to the point, it will help create job satisfaction for you and people around you.

So, would you prefer a few minutes where someone shows a thimbleful of ability but spends the rest of the day doing half a job and spreading negativity, or would you prefer someone with the right attitude? More to the point, which one of them would you want to work with, or keep in the company?

Melody Thompson

Published by Melody

almost 6 years ago


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