This is part 2 of my current series where I am taking a closer look at each of the attributes outlined two weeks ago that make up an ideal team player: humble, hungry and smart.  Last week we took a deeper dive into “humble” and how to spot that quality in our company.   

  • The second virtue or quality to discuss is hungry.  Hungry tends to be one of the easier qualities to spot in our current team members.  Do they show up on time or a little early for their shift?  Are they dependable and hardy ever call out?  When you call them in to cover a shift or ask them to stay late, do they say yes?  When they are working are they always in their station or are they wandering in the back, getting a drink or hanging out in the office?  Do they help others and jump in before someone else asks them to do so?  Have they gone through our certification process and are always pushing to learn more? 
  • One quality I see in people that are hungry that may not be obvious is that they are willing to do the little things needed every shift to succeed.  They follow procedures and do things how they are supposed to be done, they don’t take shortcuts or say that something is good enough.  Doing it the right way actually drives this type of person to keep doing more. 
  • Can you feel and see the passion or vision in someone?  If someone is hungry, they will have a fire and passion that you can feel and hear when you talk to them.  Tony Robbins credited the poem “The Will To Win,” in shaping his hunger and drive at an early age.  The one interesting thing I have come to learn about hungry is that it seems almost impossible to teach.  It seems that the hunger gene is learned in each of us at a very young age.  One of my biggest disappointments as a leader is when I see unlimited potential in someone but knowing that without the hunger, they may never be able to reach their potential. 
  • As mentioned before, a person needs to have all three of these qualities to really succeed long term.  Someone who is only hungry without being humble or smart is simply a bull in a china shop.  People that only have hunger often lack a vision or long term purpose that keeps them charging in the right direction.  The book Rhinoceros Success is one of the few books out there than can potentially help bring out the hunger in someone. 
  • Being hungry means that a person is willing to make a sacrifice to achieve something.  When interviewing try to spot a time of real, yet joyful sacrifice.  They shouldn’t be resentful for what they had to do to achieve it, they should be proud and grateful for the experience.  One of the words that bothers me in an interview is when someone starts talking about balance.  To me the work life balance myth was created by people that were left unfulfilled with their career choice.  I look at my life and realize that there are seasons of your life when more energy goes into certain areas.  What you are working to achieve should be part of your life and part of who you are.  Back to the Tony Robbins poem, having a real hunger consumes you. 
  • At Culver’s we have a process called the mentor program where a manager can work their way all the up to becoming a part owner of a restaurant.  I am consistently amazed how few of our team members will even ask me about the path or the process.  Many current Culver’s owners have gone from team member to manager to mentee to partner and then even onto being a mentor themselves.  For someone with all three of these qualities Culver’s is living proof that the American Dream is alive and well. 

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