Got To Get To “Get To”

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but for the longest time, every Friday afternoon, I call my pal, Michael Katz, or he calls me.  We catch up on the week’s activities, share a few new jokes (in Michael’s case, he tries out a few he’s created himself) and we always talk about our weekend plans.

This past Friday when Michael asked about my weekend plans, I groaned, “I’ve got to clean my garage.”  I recited the laundry list of what I had to do:  My ’67 Beetle needs to be moved and have the battery pulled,  the grandkids’ summer toys need to be put away, the snow blower must be strategically placed by the door (shovels at the ready), and the whole place needs a good sweep.

“No,” he cheerily replied, “You GET to clean your garage – not got to.  Think of it as a great opportunity to weed your junk and then re-think what you’ve got in there.  Plus, think how much better you’ll feel when it’s done and you’re sitting in your Jacuzzi peeling off two inches of dirt and sweat!”


Truthfully, I had never thought about cleaning my garage as an opportunity.   But the way Michael simply changed the “got” to “get”started me thinking.  And, within a very short time, it made a very profound difference in how I felt about spending my weekend.  I actually started to rearrange the garage in my head!  By Sunday, I was really ready to tackle that project!


Many hiring managers don’t view hiring as an opportunity.  For the most part, it’s not a task they enjoy.   That’s why they live withunderperforming employees for as long as they do.  That’s why theydrag their feet even when they have “headcount” to hire someone.  And, even more dangerously, that’s why they hire someone who may come referred to them but who is not the right person for their job.

If any of these scenarios strike a chord with you, here are a few simple tips to help change your outlook and get you excited for the opportunity it truly presents . . .

  • TAKE EVERYTHING OUT – I discovered years ago that the best way to clean a garage (or a closet, for that matter) is to first take everything out.  Then only put back what you truly want.  You’d be surprised how much stuff you jettison. Apply this principal to your hiring as well.   Put everything “on the table”for review, so to speak.
  • GET CREATIVE – When people are creating, they are usually pretty enthusiastic about what they’re doing. Before you start advertising your job, looking for candidates and interviewing,get creative in considering the job itself and the best person to do it.   For example:
    • There very well may be aspects of the job or responsibilities of the position that don’t belong in the position. Should you change those now?
    • Are there additional responsibilities you want to add to the job?
    • Should the job itself actually be changed or altered?  For example, do you really need an inside/outside enterprise software sales rep or should you really have a lead generation person paired with an inside sales person?
    • Are there any “legacy” tasks that just aren’t relevant to the job in today’s market?
    • Is this job reporting to the right level of management?
    • Can this job be shared with another person (could you hire two people who want more flexibility or only want to work part-time?)
    • Can this job be outsourced?
  • ENJOY THE PROCESS – Remember that you’re supposed to enjoy the journey on the way to your destination.  It’s the same with hiring.  Try to take real satisfaction in each step of your hiring process and optimistically expect that you’ll hire the perfect person for your job.

That kind of thinking will go a long way in shifting your thinking from the negative “got to” to the more positive “get to.”  I know – you should see my garage!  And Michael was right, that Jacuzzi felt great!

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