Finding go-getters and avoiding the gunnas

Who do you want on your team, the go-getters or the gunnas?

There are two types of employees: the go-getters and the gunnas. The go-getters are those who have a clear vision of setting out to do something, giving it their all, and accomplishing it. They don’t need to be monitored. They are the first to arrive for a meeting or at work and the last to leave at the end of the day. They are self-starters and serve as role models for others. They are the ones when given a task who declare that they will do it and not going to try to get it done. The go-getters are the ones you want to hire and have on your team or in your practice.

On the other hand, the gunnas are the ones who are gunna get around to doing what you ask of them. They are the ones that have excuses and reasons why they didn’t do what is expected. They are the ones who declare that they will try and do what is asked or expected of them. The gunnas must be led by the hand and they constantly need to be reminded of task completion and deadlines. They are a drag on morale in the office and you constantly ask, “Why did I hire this person?”

Who do you want on your team, the go-getters or the gunnas? This blog will provide you with suggestions for identifying the go-getters and how to include them in your practice or on your team.

Go-getters think big

They have visions of themselves making great accomplishments. They have lofty goals, and they genuinely believe that they can achieve them. When interviewing a potential go-getter, ask him\her where they want to be five- and ten-years after they are accepted as an employee. Ask them how many goals they have already achieved?

Go-getters are visible from first thing in the morning and at the end of the day

Arriving before everyone else and leaving after the others have departed is not a pithy adage. It marks the behavior of a go-getter.Ask a potential employee about their last job and what was their typical day like; when did they start the day and when did their day end? When doing a reference check, ask previous employers about the arrival and departure of the employee. This one-character attribute will tell you about the discipline of the potential hire.

Go-getters keep score and reward themselves

Yes, it would be nice if your employees received daily or regular accolades about their performance. But this is not likely to happen.Consequently, it is go-getters who recognize their own accomplishments and give themselves a pat on the back and not wait for others to acknowledge their success and achievements.

There’s a story about Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner who had a sign in her chambers that said, “If you want a pat on the back, lean here!” I am sure that is why SDO was surrounded by go-getters not waiting for verbal compliments.

Go-getters have passion and fire in their bellies

Very little can be accomplished if there is a lack of excitement about the job or the project. It is helpful when trying to identify a go-getter to ask what they are passionate about.If there is no response, you may be interviewing a gunna! Go-getters are passionate about what they do and are excited to work on something they care about.

Go-getters are curious

At the end of the interview, ask the interviewee if they have any questions. If the answer is no that they don’t have any further questions, this is an indicator that that they have little curiosity and are probably going to be a gunna and do the minimum amount of work. If, however, they have done their homework, did some research about the practice on Google, looked at the walls of the office manager or the doctor where the interview takes place and ask questions about one of the diplomas, the artwork, or even the mounted deer head on the wall, then you have learned about the level of curiosity of the potential new employee.

Go-getters are appreciative

If you receive a thank you note in a timely fashion from the interviewer, especially if it is handwritten, you are likely to identify an employee who will be nice to patients, physicians, and fellow staff members. Failure to receive a thank you note, is a sign of self-importance and lack of appreciation, i.e., you have discovered a gunna!

Bottom Line: Good employees are hard to find especially in this sellers’ marketplace. Ideally, you would like to have an entire staff of go-getters. By using a few of these suggestions, I think you can identify the go-getters. Remember, go-getters will get you to the top; gunna’s will drag you down. So go for the go-getters and avoid at all costs gunnas.

Neil Baum, MD, a Professor of Clinical Urology at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Baum is the author of several books, including the best-selling book, Marketing Your Medical Practice-Ethically, Effectively, and Economically, which has sold over 225,000 copies and has been translated into Spanish. He contributes a weekly video for Medical Economics on practical ideas to enhance productivity and efficiency in medical practices.