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7 characteristics of the very best employees

7 characteristics of the very best employees

When looking at the “best” in any field, there are seven common characteristics to look.  They apply when promoting for leadership positions, as well.

1. The Best have vision.  They are future-oriented and can see ahead of the pack.  They work hard in the present for the desired result in the future.  They follow Stephen Covey’s principle, “begin with the end in mind”.

2. The Best are optimists.  Closely related to having a vision is exhibiting optimism.  You can’t get to the top if you don’t think there is a top or if you doubt your ability to make it there.  No matter how bad things are, the Best always believe things can get better.

3. The Best dare to take risks.  They know that to achieve their dreams, they must do what others aren’t willing to do. It isn’t about eliminating fear.  Or waiting until you feel no fear.  The Best feel the fear and do it anyway.

4. The Best focus on relationships.  No man is an island.  Everyone who achieves great things does so with the help of countless others.  How do the Best get other people to help them?  They treat them right.  They help others whenever they can. They respect others and give without the expectation of a return.

5. The Best are adept at execution.  Most people have great ideas.  The Best take action on their ideas.  They don’t wait for things to be perfect, they act and then improve.  This goes back to taking action in spite of fear.  Perfectionism is just fear with a fancy name.

6. The Best make no excuses.  The Worst look for excuses to fail, the Best look for reasons to succeed.  When they do fail, the Best do not see it as a permanent character flaw but rather a temporary setback.  They admit it and move on.

7. The Best leave a legacy.  They aren’t in it just for themselves.  Rather, they create and build things that will benefit others and last beyond themselves.  They recognize that it’s not about the things you take with you but what you’re able to leave behind.

In the next article, we switch direction and look at the number one mistake I see companies make.