Our previous post explored how you can ace your performance appraisal, and offered suggestions on how to improve future performance. In it, we commented that your aim for next year may be to be exceptional – this post shares some of the signs of greatness described in a LinkedIn article by Jeff Haden: “8 Signs an Employee is Exceptional” and the comments on that article.
Attributes of exceptional employees:
1) Wider thinking, well beyond job descriptions: adapting quickly to shifting priorities, they do whatever it takes, regardless of their role or position, to get things done.
2) Different, eccentric or unusual, but they know when to play and when to be serious, when to be irreverent and when to conform, and when to challenge and when to back off i.e. emotional intelligence and appropriate behaviour for the situation.
3) Professionally mature, demonstrating “controlled vulnerability” which helps build trust
4) Praising others in public (including recognising others’ contributions in group settings) and working collaboratively, excited by collective success, while keeping sensitive issues to one-on-one discussion i.e. strong communicators who consider their impact on others.
5) Asking questions or raising important issues or concerns on behalf of others to give everyone a voice.
6) Driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job – this innate drive is critical.
7) Constantly exploring, with a passion for finding out the truth behind how and why things are, and fixing things when they are broken.
Good employees follow processes. Great employees tweak processes. Exceptional employees find ways to reinvent processes, not just because they are expected to... but because they just can't help themselves.”
One comment on the article warns: “Some work places say they love change and testing new ideas. They love it when all goes well but when it does not they disown you and suddenly you are left out in the cold. Make sure you have a manager that is willing to defend you if something does not work out as planned even with all the best intentions.”
Another reader said “It has to be an exceptional leader to appreciate exceptional employees.”
What are your views? As a manager, what other qualities have your exceptional employees displayed?
Jeff’s original article can be found here: