My last several years before retiring I worked for a national management consulting company traveling eight northwestern states and four provinces of Canada. During our interviews, we always asked the question ‘What would you say are your company’s three biggest problems?” Invariably one of the answers was the constant need to find good people.
That was 7 years ago and I’m sure not much has changed and yet there are plenty of Americans looking for jobs. In our internationally competitive world today where second and third world nations have awakened and can no longer have their resources and labor exploited, reality is that many of them are now viable competitors of ours. We can’t afford to sit around crying about the way it was and wanting to turn the clock back while demanding job security and guaranteed anything. Businesses have no guarantees and must stay vigilant to competition and changing environments all the time.
In a totally free marketplace, workers, as well as their employers, must work hard at doing the best they can at competing all the time. There is no room for complacency.
The attributes of what I call HAKA is the closest we can come to job security today. So by now you are no doubt asking what the heck is HAKA? Of course, professors, phycologists, and good salesmen can turn this upside down and inside out to say it their way. But this is my way.
HAKA is an acronym for Health, Attitude, Knowledge, and Application. And I say it is all that we all have going for us.
Health – We can’t do anything well for long if we’re not healthy enough. I didn’t say handicapped. I said and mean health. We must take care of ourselves, ’cause these bods we walk around in are our temple, factory, and bank. They can only give from what they have.
Attitude – Our attitude has to be right. We can’t last long with a bad one without going downhill. Attitude includes ambition. With the right attitude, we can even accomplish things that are literally over our heads and even for which we are not remotely qualified.
Knowledge – It really matters not if it came formally or informally from experience, however formally can be a great shortcut. Knowledge is the most recognizable attribute one can have. Much can be accomplished with a little knowledge.
Application – Or what we do with the first three attributes is probably the most important. Application is our effective use of our time to apply our knowledge, with the fire of our attitude and the stamina of good health. It’s what we do with what we have that’s most important. The more stamina we have the more positively realistic we are and the more we know and apply it all the bigger our advantages.
So, I say these four simple attributes are all any of us has going for us. Without them, guarantees mean nothing, with them we are guaranteed offering the best we can be in the marketplace of jobs in services, manufacturing, or marketing. That is because job performance is what an employer needs, is looking for and will pay for. He’s not paying for motions or personalities. Accomplishing at the level of performance an employer needs is the closest thing there is for job security and comes from adhering to what I call the attributes of HAKA.
I can’t stress enough the major importance of a good attitude and application.
HAKA, HAKA, HAKA to you and yours in 2017.