Starbucks clarification. I made a big deal out of the "Starbucks Smile." Let me add that, to me, these smiles (and sparkling demeanor, even a 6:30 a.m.) are ... The Real Thing. That is, we've all been "subjected to" "training program smiles"—those stretched-lip phantom "smiles"/face-contortions that bear no trace of genuine human emotion. Erik Hansen and I were talking about this. (He's the one who made me a Starbucks Maniac.) We conclude that the not-so-obscure secret is breaking one's back to hire ... folks with naturally sunny dispositions. Any other criteria come in a (very) distant second!

My firm belief: Such people do exist, in fairly sizeable numbers, but you must be determined to make this the Clear & Unmistakable No.1 Criterion! (And, to understate, it doesn't exactly hurt if the person/ doing the hiring is, um ... sunny & sparkling. Message: Sparkle begets sparkle. Sparklers sign up to work with sparklers.)

Tom Peters posted this on February 13, 2006, in Service.
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