A recent article on ceo.com shares the insight of a former Navy Seal, Jeff Boss and how he identifies exceptional people and teamwork. The differences between the battlefield and office may be great; however, the underlying foundation of working with and on a team is not different, making his observations applicable to any job.
While skills and experience are important, attitude plays a large role and matters most. Boss goes on to say that when you have a person with motivation, temperament, emotional intelligence, a willingness to lead and follow, and be coached, that person embodies a great attitude.
What do those exceptional employees do?
- Show their teammates they are willing and able to learn. They ask to be shown how even if–especially if–they already think they know how and they volunteer for responsibility before responsibility is delegated.
- Volunteer for every new task. And if there are no new tasks, they think of ways to make current tasks better. No matter what, they don’t wait to be told what to do. Leaders are proactive, and proactive people don’t wait to be told what to do — they’re already doing it.
- Anticipate the needs of coworkers, and the team, and the department. Helping others demonstrates one cares about teamwork. Volunteering to train and mentor new employees demonstrates leadership interest and aptitude. They will think about their role in a macro to micro, big to small way: The mission and purpose of the team always comes first; the individual always comes last. Self-interest should always be the smallest area of focus.
- Demonstrate competence in their job. Even if their job is taking out the trash or making coffee, they do it to the best of their ability. Always on time and never complaining.
- Offer help to anyone and everyone who needs it (or doesn’t need it). Even the simple act of saying, “Jeff, I’m not doing anything right now. Do you need help with anything?” demonstrates a “we” and not a “me” mindset.
Sounds like the perfect employee, right? In today’s competitive job market, having the right attitude can be the difference between a candidate that is the right fit and just having the skills and experience for the job. When a person realizes they are part of something bigger than themselves and they continually strive for improvement, it shows a developable and promotable person - someone that contributes and can advance within the organization.
Boss concludes with, “That’s the same attitude great new employees bring to the job and will maintain for their entire career — as long as you provide that sense of shared purpose, camaraderie and culture.” This is such a key statement. When new employees start, they come ready and willing to learn. An organizations’ part is to keep that momentum going by building those relationships where exceptional employees can flourish and are rewarded for their acheivements.