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:
As the year draws to a close, you may be preparing for your full-year performance appraisal… Perhaps it’s in December if your manager has been able to find a free slot between the festive celebrations and last-minute rush to get everything finished this year still. Alternatively, your appraisal may be scheduled for January once you’re both back from the holiday season, refreshed and ready to tackle your next set of objectives.
Reviews of your performance can be immensely helpful where they provide feedback you can learn from, to make targeted improvements that lead to better future outcomes. Some managers will provide ongoing feedback throughout the year too, as you progress with tasks or deliver on projects.
In this post, we share are some tips on how to approach your performance appraisal. Some you’ll be able to implement immediately, but others will take more reflection and time to put into practice, so are more likely to most useful for your next appraisal.
The latest video we’re keen to share with you is of Mark Rober speaking at TEDx Penn. It’s titled “The Super Mario Effect – Tricking Your Brain Into Learning More”, and we found the roughly 15 minute video appealing on a number of levels:
Mark is an American engineer, inventor and YouTube star – his channel has 4 million subscribers currently (December 2018). His videos cover popular science, DIY gadgets and goofy but creative ideas (like liquid sand and gigantic waterpistols). A NASA engineer for nine years earlier in his career, Mark’s playful style entertains viewers into learning science, engineering and design.
The trick to learning more, and having more success, is finding the right way to frame the learning process...what if you just framed the learning process in such a way that you didn’t concern yourself with failure? How much more successful could you be? How much more could you learn?”
Some nuggets from the video:
Interestingly too, the basic coding challenge referred to in the video has had a positive impact. For example, one viewer described how she learnt from the challenge that “anyone could code” and she is now a programmer and designer “because of this ONE experiment”!
This concept of life gamification is more than just ‘Have a positive attitude’ or ‘Never give up’ because those imply you’re having to endure against your true desire to quit. I feel that when you frame a challenge or learning process in the way I’m describing, you actually want to do it. It feels natural to ignore the failures and try again.”
Update (June 2021):