I was watching a video about the 2014 New England Patriots march to the Super Bowl the other day. I am not a fan of the Patriots or of their quarterback Tom Brady even though I respect their accomplishments. I am however quite a fan of their coach Bill Bellicheck. The film followed the Patriots as they played each game of that season and interviewed the various coaches and personnel as they reflected on things. Bellicheck was recounting a game early in the season against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team was shutout in the first half something like 31 – 0 and he was trying to figure out how to salvage a win and to see if he needed to change things. Well they went on to lose the game by a substantial margin but at the end of it Bellicheck wasn’t so disappointed with the outcome because he felt like his players played hard. In fact when he studied the game film later, he remarked that even when the outcome was a near certainty, his team never gave up on their effort, and he knew at that moment he had a team he could work with, that had the potential to go all the way.
When I hire a manager, or sit in on an interview with a prospective employee, I try to get a feel for several things, first do they have enough of the skills to succeed, second will they fit in, and most important, are they a quitter or a fighter. We can hire skilled people with great track records and they are doing great till that time comes when a decision doesn’t go their way. That is when I find out who I really have and who I can count on. Do they accept the decision even though they disagree and then do their best to make it work, or do they quit or try to undermine the decision? I don’t need to tell you who I want on my team. So, are you a quitter or a fighter?