9 attributes an employer wants

1. Extreme Reliability: It is rare to find true consistency, a person who delivers regardless of circumstance. She follows through, keeps her word, and makes things happen without regard for immediate personal gain. You can trust her with the day-to-day details — and your business.

2. Natural Curiosity: No one should ever be done learning, yet most people seem allergic to new ideas, approaches, and perspectives. Naturally curious people don’t need to be “motivated” to learn or wait for “company training.” Lifelong learning creates unending relevance. It enables realizations, transformations, and value creation.

3. Grounded Positivity: Life is hard, but business is virtually impossible without positivity. True positivity is a resilient fortitude, only mildly tempered by reality. It is not a facade of happiness, but the deeply held belief that you can make a difference. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”

4. Uncompromising Excellence: “Good enough” is the enemy of great. It allows corners to be cut, excuses to be made, and opportunities to be lost. Excellence requires a frustrating amount of caring and an uncompromising approach. It also produces outrageous amounts of value. People who are committed to excellence create better products and services than their competitors — and, more importantly, than they did the day before.

5. Unlimited Versatility: No one can predict the future. Unforeseen circumstances constantly arise that require diverse sets of skills. Versatility means leaving your job description and comfort zone and doing whatever is needed to maximize value creation. People who say “That’s not my job” don’t have jobs for long.

6. Self-Awareness: Understanding your own thoughts, skills, emotions, and motivations is critical. Self-awareness aligns your strengths with organizational needs and helps you mitigate your weaknesses, creating a confidence that will inspire others. A strong self-identity is crucial, and the accompanying success-oriented outlook is contagious.

7. Quality Communicator: Speak clearly. Write concisely. It’s not complicated, yet it’s all but impossible for most. Quality communicators are transparent, yet tactful; eloquent, yet not condescending.

8. Philosophical Anchoring: Do you know you? Why do you make decisions? What is important? What makes you happy? If you don’t know, you either have to spend an exorbitant amount of time analyzing and deciding, or you’re consistently inconsistent. Either option is a bad one for you and your company.

9. Creative Problem Solving: Life is packed with problems. Do you attack each with creativity and zeal, or continuously follow well-worn paths created by hordes before you? Do you search for the best solution for you, regardless of how it’s panned out for — or been viewed by — others before you?

Life is a learning process. No one comes naturally endowed with the complete package, and rarely does someone achieve mastery of all these attributes (I certainly haven’t). Take aim at what you want to become, and consistently work hard to get better. Joy is in the toil

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