sleevesWilliam Green, CEO of the $20+ billion (revenues) mega-consulting firm Accenture relates the story of how he was once at a college doing recruiting interviews. (The New York Times, November 22, 2009). His last interview of the day was with a young man whose resume was on the light side. None of the overseas classes, clubs, sports, or high-profile internships that other students had proudly strutted before him. Under work experience, the resume listed “Sam’s Diner.” Green inquired about it. The student replied: “Well, Sam’s Diner. That’s our family business and I leave on Friday after classes and I go and I work until closing. I work all day Saturday until closing. And then I work Sunday until I close and then I drive back to school.”

Speaking of that young man he interviewed (and hired) almost 20 years ago, Green says, “He is still with us. He had character. He faced a set of challenges. He figured out how to do both. It’s work ethic. The guy charted a path to make it work with the situation he had. He didn’t ask for help. He wasn’t victimized by the thing. He just said ‘That’s my dad’s business and I work there.’ Confident. Proud.”

Work ethic: A set of values based on hard work and diligence. It is also a belief in the moral benefit of work and its ability to enhance character. Work ethic may include being reliable, having initiative, or maintaining social skills. (Wikipedia)