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Monday, August 4, 2014

You Are the Company You Keep

     If you’re going to market yourself as an expert you’d better have a good team of people around you.  You will become the sum of the top 5 people you surround yourself with. Choose wisely. I came across an article on called 5 attributes to look for in High-Performing Employees. If you are hiring a staff these elements are critical. I know first-hand how costly hiring the wrong person can be. But these attributes are not just for staffing. Looking for these attributes in friends, mentors, significant others and the like will serve you well in your pursuit of life’s goals. So what should you look for?

     Intelligence.  This key attribute trumps experience every time. Plus you may be hiring the experience of poor performance and a bad attitude. Smart people can learn quicker and often times end up doing the job better and more effectively. Look for people that catch on to new ideas, are innovative and relentless in pursuing new information.
Ownership and pride. Looking to make others proud of you is nowhere near as important of being proud of yourself. No matter where people are in chasing their dreams look for those fully engaged and focused on how they are performing the job they are currently in. David Wagner, owner Day maker at Juut salonspa started as a valet for Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda, at his Minneapolis salon. Horst took a liking to him when he saw his incredible work ethic and passion for excellence. The rest is history.  Have pride in yourself, what you are doing and the people you do it with for the best team experience.

    Work ethic.  It takes more than intelligence and talent. Look for people willing to go the extra mile. People that are solution oriented not problem focused.  Willingness to contribute and a desire to lead will become vital in the success of any project, relationship or goal. People who want to accomplish the goal for that pride that only comes from being engaged as a part of the process.  The ones that text you two hours after the initial conversation with a fresh idea or solution.  People with a great work ethic don’t shut down when the work day does. Their passion is to look for ways to contribute the most.
    Integrity.  This one is much harder to flesh out especially in an interview scenario. I often came up with work situations and ask how they would handle them. Especially things like handling a controversial situation with another staff member or conflict with another manager.  Ask about real world ethical dilemmas or difficult decisions they have had to make. Past behavior predicts future behavior. Questions like what would you do if another team member took credit for a project or idea you came up with, or tell me about a conflict you had with a superior and how you resolved it? 

     Teamwork. Put quite simply, don’t hire jerks. You can train a lot, but you can’t teach nice, it’s either there or not. Look for people who put the team first, who don’t look for every opportunity to make things about them.  Teamwork and collaboration are what moves things forward, in work and in life.  So whether you are hiring a staff, looking to partner with a life mate or seeking out new colleagues do some due diligence creating your team.  Smart, engaged, hardworking people thrive in the environment of others with these same attributes. As Jim Rohn said if you take an idiot and motivate him all you have is a motivated idiot. So build a great team, because that’s smart marketing.

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