Bill Morrow grew up in the “slums of San Francisco”. He’s now the CEO of Australia’s third largest telco and subjects all job candidates to an important personality test: how they treat serving staff.
David Ramli of the AFR reports that Morrow grew up poor and moved to a trailer park with his mother at the age of 15.
Morrow told the Fin that poverty taught him to manage without arrogance – an attribute he demands from every manager.
He recalled interviewing an Ivy League graduate who answered every question perfectly, until they went to lunch at a seaside cafe. The candidate reacted badly when the waitress made a mistake with a dish, so he didn’t get the job.
Here’s what Morrow told the Fin:
Don’t write me off because I come from the east side of a city that was incredibly poor, crime-ridden and where people barely finished high school let alone did anything with their career ambition or personal goals.
How you treat people and how you see yourself relative to those others is really important.
We had a call centre in Las Vegas, Nevada where the staff made about $20-30,000 per year, and they really just worked pay cheque to pay cheque.
If you take some guy that’s going to come in and make a half-million dollars a year . . . and they lead with a ‘this is my position and you do as I say’, almost king-like fashion, it just doesn’t work.
There’s more on the Fin.
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