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Johnny or Rudy: An Easy Coaching Decision

My son plays on the lightweight football team for his junior high school. He’s light even for that team. He doesn’t have blazing speed, or Football Pic 2the surest hands, or a cannon for an arm, and he doesn’t yet deliver bone-crushing hits.  But he does have one thing that I’d take over all other attributes: he’s got the right attitude.

The other night was their first game of the season and I couldn’t have been more proud of him. Though he was on the sideline more than on the field, he focused his energy on pumping up his teammates. He handed out high-fives, cheered on the Hornets, and when he got in, he hustled to the ball and even managed to pick off the opposing quarterback.

There are many job openings at this very moment in our industry; many can be found on IPI’s website.  All of these postings include a long list of skills required for the particular job. This is to be expected, but I believe firmly in the old adage that says, “Hire for attitude, train for skill.” I’ve made good hiring decisions throughout my career by focusing on attitude and less on skill. Often, I have hired a candidate who has nominal parking experience compared to other applicants.

At the very least, hiring decisions should be made based on equal amounts of skill and attitude. This will ensure that you’ve got the best, most capable people on your team.

If my son keeps playing football, he’ll gain the necessary skills to contribute even more on the field. Until then I’m grateful he’s carrying himself like a true champion.

About Casey Jones, CAPP

Casey Jones, CAPP is vice president for university services at SP Plus Corporation. He is IPI past chair and services on the IPI Parking Matters Committee and Accredited Parking Organization board of directors.


  1. Timothy Haahs says:

    John Maxwell said, “People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude,” Albert Einstein said, “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character,” and Zig Zigler said “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” The life’s most important thing is to teach and monitor our children and those who we have influence the power of attitude. Thank you for sharing.

    • Lou Farnsworth says:

      Tim – I’ve only met you once, but you have a way with words. Would love to see your blogs on here someday. God bless, Louis.

  2. Mark Lyons says:

    A solid principle by which all hiring managers and department directors should apply when developing their team. This reminds me of the saying, “Make sure your heart is right, before the act is wrong.” Recruiting for attitude is more than finding a “YES” person. It’s finding a “CAN DO” person, that seeks solutions with enthusiasm. Find someone with a good heart and basic skills, and I’ll work hard to fit them into a position where they can excel and benefit the entire organization.

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