Okay. The book is really starting to engage me . . . despite the fact that it's fiction.
The problems for Jeff are starting to compound. They need to hire more workers, but they need to figure out how to - in the words of Zig Ziglar - not just get the right people on the bus but to also get the right people in the right seats on the bus!
Jeff is given a lead . . . Ted is a former engineer from a very successful company who apparently retired too early and misses the work. So Bobby and Clare suggest reaching out to Ted to see if they can lure him out of retirement.
And that is exactly what they do. And things appear to be wonderful. Ted is talented and very skilled and would be a great addition to their firm.
But is he a culture fit?
And that's the key point of the book.
To figure this out, Jeff, Bobby, and Clare drill down to the three key things they must hire for because these are the three key traits in ideal team players. Great team players are smart, hungry, and humble.
More on these key traits -
Smart. This isn't just IQ. It's far more than that. It's people skills. You can be brilliant at what you do, but if you have no ability to read people, you're almost useless. What good is it if you have great ideas, but every time you open your mouth you say things that not just piss everyone else off but also turn everyone else against you.
Ideal team players are smart and know how to effectively communicate and help others.
Hunger. Every ideal team player must have a constant drive to improve and learn and grow. They don't rest on their laurels. They are constantly tweaking and researching and learning and growing to improve their skills.
Humble. Ideal team players aren't arrogant jackasses (in the words of the author). They can have ego. That's natural, but they know that it isn't really all about them. It's about the team and the task.
In an interesting moment in the book, Jeff, Bobby, and Clare draw a Venn diagram with these three traits interlocking in circles. Then they begin placing all the names of their workforce inside.
How much fun would that type of analysis be?
As the book progresses, Jeff realizes that Ted is off the charts when it comes to being smart and hungry, but he isn't humble. He makes it all about him and his work. Thus, he isn't a culture fit.
The writing is on the wall for Ted, and he actually calls Jeff and tells him that he isn't right for the job, saving Jeff having to tell him that he isn't going to get hired.
Now that's amazing.
How this relates to education -
I'm convinced you have to be smart, hungry, and humble in teaching.
If you can't relate to relate to your students and win them over and engage them and inspire them and motivate them, students might as well be taking your class on line without any interaction at all.
If you aren't hungry, how are you ever going to improve as a teacher? At LHS, H is a perfect example. Last week as I was cleaning out my classroom, H stopped by. He had found something interesting and he was already chomping at the bit to get cracking on it for next year! That's amazing. And that's why H is the best. Who can match his hunger?
If you don't want to improve, you're going to end up teaching the same damn year over and over and over. Who wants to do that?
If you lack humility, you won't fit into our culture at LHS. In fact, it's one of our core values: "It's not about us." It isn't about us. It's about what our kids learn and how they grow. Period.