Through my 20+ professional years in the IT, Retail, and Finance sectors, I have asked every team which I have hired or assembled for three things, and always the same three things regardless of what they were being asked to do; three things which they need to bring with them every day to their profession; three things I frankly cannot provide for them even if I try. I call them my Essential 3E’s…enthusiasm, effort, and ethics. Why can’t I provide these three things? I can answer that question in one word, choice. A person has to choose to conduct themselves in a positive manner, has to choose to apply themselves to achieve great things, and has to choose to do the right thing.
The 3E’s help me answer the question “who are you”. Having enthusiasm (bringing a positive excitement to your work) comes from enjoying what you do, and you can’t enjoy what you do if you don’t know what you like to do. I cannot tell someone what they like to do nor can I tell if someone knows what they like to do. Exercising effort (having the drive to pursue what you want to achieve) is more often than not learned at a young age or is just part of someone’s nature. If someone isn’t self-motivated enough to have their own internal drive by the time they enter into their profession, it will be very difficult for someone else to influence them into gaining that drive. Exercising ethics (knowing and then doing the right thing) is also something that is usually impressed upon someone early on and requires a conscious effort to execute. One’s ethical composition is often formulated prior to entering into one’s profession. An organization which exercises good ethical practices can influence someone who has not been exposed to good ethics, but it’s certainly not a guarantee.
I can teach/coach Software Development, Business Finance, Sales, Marketing, Forecasting, and a host of other topics to folks of varying degrees of experience. You don’t have to bring expertise on these topics to my team in order to work with me on them as long as you are willing to learn. The 3E’s however, run much deeper than knowledge, and none of my information truly matters if the recipient of my efforts does not possess and actively utilize the essential 3E’s. Can someone be influenced through others exercising the 3E’s and learn to understand them and utilize them? Possibly, but a positive attitude (enthusiasm), drive (effort), and moral fiber (ethics) are usually pretty well established by the time someone of professional working age walks into an interview.