Q: Mr. Anderson, you have an impressive hiring record. Exactly what do you look for in a creative person?
A: Five traits. Probably in this order:
INSATIABLE CURIOSITY | The best creative people are aware. They have a need to know what’s going on. They want to know why it works. And how it works. They want to talk to the customer. They want to ride the route. They want to experience life personally.
THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE | And theirs is unquenchable! So they observe. They read. They participate. Because to come up with pretty good ideas, you have to immerse yourself in the knowledge of the product. Knowledge is the fuel that fires the furnace of creativity.
BOREDOM WITH STATUS QUO | To be creative is to be original. Every new challenge requires a new idea. Once you’ve used it, you can never use it again. This isn’t only a responsibility. It’s an exciting challenge we face each day.
CHILDLIKE WONDER | The best creative people I know still get excited by a pretty good idea. The kind of idea that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. Even when it’s not your own.
TOUGH RESILIENCY | All pretty good ideas won’t be appreciated by all. The best creative people don’t view rejection as defeat. They see it as a challenge.