Over the years I have been tasked with hiring people for open positions in organizations. In reviewing resumes it can become difficult to capture an accurate picture of what a person can genuinely bring to your team. After determining whether the candidate has the basic credentials, you have to ask: “Do they have the most important ingredients for success?” Here is a list of the most vital tools a teammate needs to succeed from my experience.
Trust. This to me is the most important but most difficult to determine from a resume. If you cannot believe what they are telling you is true in small details, I am doubtful they can deliver the big things when we need them. If someone is dishonest, I do not want them on the team or to work with them. If they are playing a shell game of claiming to be working hard when they are not, I lose heart in investing in them.
Confidentiality. Your boss can talk freely with you and rest in the fact you will not discuss outside appropriate channels what was said. This employee does not have the burning desire to contribute to the office “grapevine of gossip.” Topics from HR issues to wrestling over the future of the organization are kept private. Confidential issues are locked safely with them like treasures in a vault. Confidentiality is crucial to success in an organization and the opposite ensures failure.
Treats everyone with respect regardless of position. The employee does not depend upon their rank or title to accomplish things around the office. They do not beat on their desk claiming “because I am a manager, you must do what I say!” They are servant leaders who treat everyone the same: with respect and kindness. They do not have a sense of entitlement but one of humility and maturity. They are able to accomplish far more because they have respected people along the way and genuinely want to help them succeed.
Always a learner. I value and highly respect people who walk into a situation and are constantly asking questions and learning from others. What worked before and how would you do things differently? Respecting teammates enough to ask their opinion and never think you have it all figured out. Be deferential to others and say, I am new here and how can I help?
Makes the trains run on time. Give this person a task and you don’t have to constantly make sure it is being accomplished. Once the task has been given to them, with clear instructions, you can count on it being done with excellence and on time. It brings a tremendous amount of peace of mind for their supervisor.
Plays well with others. They are a team player who knows how to build coalitions and to do their part to accomplish the mission. If given a task to complete, they are wise enough to draw upon the collective wisdom and experience of others to assist them in completing the assignment. They ask for help far in advance of a crisis. They are not a one-person-show but possess the ability to persuade and “win friends and influence people.” They make their projects appealing and inspiring so others want to work with them. They are able to win over doubters and teammates who question whether they are headed in the right direction.
Reduces the stress of your boss. Few things stress me more at work than drama between coworkers. Refereeing “he said, she said” issues and who is mad with whom causes endless frustration to me. When one teammate becomes the common denominator in all office drama, I have my doubts they will be on the team for the long haul. I love what the famous entrepreneur Mark Cuban says about successful employees. “The people who tend to work for me a long time, they understand that the greatest value you can offer a boss is to reduce their stress,” Cuban told Money. “Anybody who reduces my stress becomes invaluable to me,” he added. “I never want to get rid of them.”
Cuban is not saying withhold your concerns or prevent give and take with your boss on issues. He is saying to share problems but to also arrive with your solutions. Be a problem solver instead of a drama magnet.
Good communication. I use to work for an IT placement company. An IT professional may have the brilliant mind of Albert Einstein but they were not needed if they could not clearly articulate what value they brought to a company. If they could not simply explain their work to a hiring manager, we passed on them regardless of their valued skillset. Explaining complex issues in a simple, easy to understand manner can make an employee a tremendous asset for any company or organization. Einstein once said: “If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough.”
Balance innovation and change with the disruption of growing pains. In the midst of new ideas and change, make sure your work has consistency and balance. Do not exhaust your boss and team with chaos and a “no end in sight” disruption. Regardless of what endgame you are seeking, if your work is never ending chaos, you will lose the support you need to finish your longterm goals. To succeed you must have balance and stability along the way. Seek to accomplish immediate small wins to build confidence. Allow everyone to see your “roadmap to success” and where you are headed. It will prevent your team from feeling the terror, uncertainty and anxiety one experiences as a passenger of a new teenage driver.
What would you add to this list?