Speaker | Entrepreneur | Author

Sam Davidson's blog

If you'd like to get more ideas like these sent to you each day, it's easy: sign up here.


What Am I Supposed To Do With All of These Daredevils?

You hire them as fast as you can.

I've just started Nuts! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. It's an expose of how Southwest went from startup to one of the best airlines out there.

The airline faced some steady opposition just to get off the ground. After persevering through numerous legal battles, it could have easily gone under after just a few years. But, the resiliency and smarts of the employees kept it afloat, made it profitable, and keep it great to this day.

Here's how Kevin and Jackie Freiberg describe these early employees:

These people believed. They took a risk and joined a company that had no track record. They bet their careers when the stakes were high; they gave their time when getting a paycheck wasn't guaranteed; they gambled their reputations when the media were doubtful. They were nutty, flashy, and very hip when the competition was conventional, businesslike, and very bland. These originals set the pace and the pattern of Southwest's way of doing business. They believed that if they just worked hard enough, that if Southwest Airlines were just different enough, that if they just cared enough, the company would pull through.

When you're starting something, you need people who believe. There are folks out there who have great resumes and a wonderful track record. But when it comes to launching something, a lot of times, you're throwing the rules out the window. So even if someone has had success somewhere, they may not be the right fit if they can't play by a new set of rules.

Whether you're starting a business, a nonprofit, or a new program at your church, don't underestimate the value of belief, and don't overestimate the value of a long resume. If you're in a position of leadership and someone brings you an idea, chances are good that the messenger may be the best manager.

You won't be remarkable by doing the same old thing with the same old people.