UP People are a joy to be around. I once read that ”
Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope.” These words describe UP People. I have been fortunate in my life to be surrounded by them. When I hire people, I am always looking for people with a positive disposition and a can do attitude. One of my mantras, and I know many of my CEO colleagues share this view, has always been to “recruit for attitude and train for skill.”
Recently, I have had encounters with three of the most positive people that have ever walked the planet. Leland Eric Johnson (AKA – Lee) played 18 seasons in the National Football League. He came out of BYU in 1984 after winning a national Championship with the Cougars.
In his 18 seasons, Johnson played in 259 games, recorded 1,226 punts for 51,979 yards, third most in NFL history. But guess what – in all of Johnson’s storied career, he only played on one team that made the playoffs. You would think that would frustrate the average person. Not Lee- he is world of positivity.
“When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.”― Shannon L. Alder
The Second person is my Mother – Kay Bradford. She is the Mother of 7 and grandparent of 25 and so many great grandchildren, frankly we have lost count. She is 90 years old and has 104 Facebook friends.
The other day I
sent her some proposed designs for my new book and here was her response: “David they are all wonderful…..you are wonderful….the world is wonderful and I am so very happy about your many successes. life is beautiful. I love you mother”- NOW THAT’S ONE POSITIVE PERSON!
When people ask her how her day is going, the response they hear is: “This is the greatest day of my life. Really, I cannot believe how blessed I am.” Now I can tell you from direct personal experience that her life has not been a bowl of cherries. But you would never know it from meeting her. When you meet Mom you will likely here her say:
“Something wonderful is going to Happen to Me today.”
Bev Tanner – known far and near as the “Baking Lady” on the David Letterman Show. This woman, Mother of 14 children, was one of the most energetic and positive people I have ever encountered. The energy she had for life was contagious. Bev passed away a couple of years ago. She was a teacher, a baker, a great Mother, a spiritual leader, and a human dynamo. One of the things I remember from her funeral was a statement made by one of her students: “Bev Tanner is the only substitute teacher I ever remember. So much energy and joy! She was a great example of living life to the fullest.”
The other day, I had occasion to reminisce on Bev’s life and legacy when I shared one of her Letterman show appearances with a friend. Check it out as David Letterman, Demi Moore, and Bev Tanner bake Tiramisu. You are in for a high energy, UP person.
As a hiring manager, I have always made it a point to rank attitude higher than skill set. Teaching and training a person on how to be an “UP” person is next to impossible whereas you can train someone to improve their skills. While someone’s resume may tell you a lot about the job candidate’s skill set, it does not tell you if they are an UP person. I strongly believe that when a hiring managers surround themselves with people with can-do attitudes, there will be a positive energy at play and you will be amazed at what can get done. One of my all-time favorite quotes is this from Margaret Mead, the well-known cultural anthropologist: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed (and I would add ‘positive’) citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
My advice: If you want to change the world and get a job done, hire “UP” people.
What about you? Who are the “UP” people in your life? How have they made a difference for you?