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Attitude is the key

January 28, 2014

I’ve always believed in hiring/selecting for attitude, since I believe people who have the right attitude will always find a way and will make a difference. I recently came across the story below that highlights this so well that I had to share it on my blog. Hope you enjoy reading it.


Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax)


The Duck and the Eagle

Harvey Mackay was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a car pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey. He handed Harvey a laminated card and said:

“I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.”

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said:

Wally’s Mission Statement : “To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, Safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment. This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean! “

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, “Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.”

Harvey said jokingly, “No, I’d prefer a soft drink.”

Wally smiled and said, “No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.” Almost stuttering, Harvey said, “I’ll take a Diet Coke.”

Handing him his drink, Wally said, “If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal , Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.”

As they were pulling away, Wally handed Harvey another laminated card. “These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.”

And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

English: A rubber duck. Français : Un canard e...

English: A rubber duck. Français : Un canard en plastique de couleur jaune. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Tell me, Wally,” amazed Harvey asked the driver, “have you always served customers like this?”

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called ‘You’ll See It When You Believe It.’ Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd. The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. ‘”

“That hit me right between the eyes,” said Wally. “Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.”

“I take it that has paid off for you,” Harvey said.

“It sure has,” Wally replied. “My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.”

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab.

I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.

A great attitude is a matter of choice. You could either quack like a Duck or soar like an Eagle.



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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2014 10:15 am

    Reblogged this on The Damodar Shenoy Blog and commented:
    Must read!! Change your Attitude and have a happy life 🙂

    • gurprrietsiingh permalink*
      November 6, 2014 1:42 pm

      Thank you!

  2. April 23, 2014 6:48 pm

    Reblogged this on poojatalwar.

  3. April 8, 2014 1:44 pm

    Wonderful sharing admin.Attitude is the basic key of all happiness and for me personally mediation helped me a lot

  4. January 29, 2014 7:42 pm

    This is something I use to try find out what attitude is the driving force of people. I bring up a topic, a pain point or improvement area along with a possible but difficult problem…For e.g. if we could get lots of people to sign up for buses, we could get enough cars of the road to make high speed bus travel possible. Then i wait to hear their reaction, the naysayers will focus on a solution not being possible, the eagles will talk about feasibility, possible issues and how to go about them or come up with other ideas, or what more data would help…but always aligned to solve.

  5. January 29, 2014 9:52 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve spent most of my life listening, and trying to be understanding, to people complain about why things are difficult for them or they can’t do something. I’ve also had this attitude directed at me. I think I’m getting less and less tolerant of people who give excuses, it’s tiring to listen to.

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