I recently had a conversation with executives at Chipotle about how they recruit. Turns out that they seek out candidates who have 13 specific attitudes, even for jobs that aren't customer-facing (like IT).

When I saw their list of attitudes, I realized immediately that those were attitudes that every boss wants in every employee, and every coworker wants from their peers. Here's Chipotle's list, with my interpretation of each attribute:

  1. Conscientious. Great employees complete tasks without being asked or overseen. They take personal responsibility for finishing the job and finishing it right.
  2. Respectful. Great employees have too much self-respect to kowtow to authority, but they respect and appreciate the contribution of their bosses and leaders.
  3. Hospitable. Great employees welcome the opportunity to work with coworkers and customers and express that welcome with words and actions.
  4. High Energy. Great employees don't depend upon managers or coworkers to "pump them up." They bring their "best game" to anything that they do.
  5. Infectiously Enthusiastic. Great employees are optimists, they search for the good in a situation and they seldom complain about what they can't change.
  6. Happy. Great employees take responsibility for their own happiness. They realize that happiness comes from how you see the world, not what happens in the world.
  7. Presentable. Great employees don't need to be told that it's inappropriate to show up for work looking like a slob or a slattern. They dress appropriately at all times.
  8. Smart. Great employees don't have to be Einsteins, but they must know how to use the intelligence they've got to contribute the overall effort.
  9. Polite. Great employees know that rude behavior is selfish and stupid and that common courtesy is the best way to get along with coworkers and customers.
  10. Motivated. Great employees don't need carrots and sticks to get them moving. They're committed to excel at their job, regardless of the job.
  11. Ambitious. Great employees want to grow, which in business means growing into new responsibilities and new levels of authority.
  12. Curious. Great employees want to know the "why" behind the "what." They seek to understand people, technology, and ideas beyond their surface characteristics.
  13. Honest. Great employees don't need Big Brother staring over their shoulder because they do the right thing even when nobody is watching.
Published on: Nov 21, 2014
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