Message from my mentor to all Agric Industry Employers
When I was helping Jamal Mashburn, one of my top players, find somebody to manage his money a couple of years back, I was looking for someone who was conservative, who had a lot of experience, and who had withstood tough times. My research took me to a man named Mario Gabelli, who handles millions of dollars in corporate investments and university endowments.
Mario gave me a tour of his company in Rye, New York; he must have had between seventy-five and one hundred employees in the backroom all handling various accounts. I asked him what he looked for in hiring people, how he created his employee base. Was it a Wharton diploma? Harvard business School? What was it?
“I hire Phds,” he said.
“I don’t understand,” I said,” I would think in your business you would hire people with expertise in managing money, not Ph.Ds.”
“Not in an academic sense,” he said. “I’m looking for poor, hungry and driven people.”
I’ve never forgotten Mario’s phrase, and now I, too, look for people who are poor, hungry and driven.
Now I’m not talking about people being poor economically. I’m talking about being poor in terms of knowledge, about people who are constantly searching to learn more, to find more wisdom. And hungry people in this context refers to those with a tremendous desire to succeed, people who won’t ever be satisfied with an ordinary level of accomplishment. And driven people are the ones who set ambitious goals and then pursue them with real ferocity.
For instance, there is no question that professional athletes in the last year of their contracts tend to be more driven and tend to have the best year of their whole contract. Why? Because they know that last season is the key to their next job, and they have more of a desire to do well.
It shouldn’t take being in the last year oof your contract or a New Year’s resolution to motivate you to be driven to succeed. All year round, the PHD attitude is a common denominator among almost all successful people, regardless of their occupation. These are the people who jump out of bed in the morning ready to accomplish more at work than they ever have before. They seem to have almost superhuman energy. They seem to have a boundless supply of curiosity, optimism and drive. To all appearances, they could accomplish just about anything they set their minds to.
One foolproof indicator of people with a PHD attitude is great concentration. These highly motivated people are almost always deeply absorbed in what they’re doing. I rarely look at the clock when I am coaching; so engrossed am I in what I am watching and teaching and learning about my team. I don’t want the time to move by quickly. There is always too much to be done and too little time to do it in.
That is the attitude you must adopt everyday of your working life. Poor, hungry and driven. That’s the message you have to be sending out to both your employer and your coworkers, this sense that nothing is going to get in the way of your success.