10 Incredible Skills My Top Employees Possess

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I wanted to take time to outline specific talents I see excellent employees own. These are the rapid-growth super-performers we all want to have on our teams. Whether it’s sales, customer service, or anything else, these specific skills will distinguish the extraordinary from ordinary. Here is the list of 10 Incredible Skills My Top Employees Possess:

  1. Feedback– associates that provide constructive feedback to their peers helps unify teams and maximize growth.
  2. Flexibility– employees who understand the need to be flexible during times of stress and uncertainty will keep a team strong when you need it the most.
  3. Energetic– my personal favorite is the energy others bring to the table. High energy individuals keep the morale and positive focus of a team.
  4. Passion– those who are incredibly passionate about what they do will inspire other individuals and create a sense of pride within the work environment.
  5. Ethical– people who can perform AND do so in an ethical way will set the right example for teammates. Peers want to work with someone they don’t feel jeopardizes the company’s reputation.
  6. Respect– one of the highest rated abilities of individuals is the way they display respect towards others. Those who disrespect peers and leaders will be a constant target for negativity and loss of morale.
  7. Unity– a team mindset is much more powerful than an individual one. Employees who think and operate as a team will outlast individual contributors.
  8. Pride– having pride in your abilities and results will go a long way. Associates who don’t care about their results will often be poor performers and drag other team members down as well.
  9. Drive– employees need to minimally match your ability to drive their performance and career growth. Employees who are driven naturally attract others and will help you create your future leadership bench strength.
  10. Inspirational– that’s right, inspiration is not just a responsibility left for leaders. Employees who inspire others growth, performance, morale and trust are essential to teams. Having constant conversations to utilize these individuals will help you accomplish your goals much faster than going at it alone.  

It’s important to recognize these qualities, it’s even more important to recognize these individuals for their efforts. If you have employees that are showing each of these qualities, you need to consider where they fit into the future of your company. I also recommend using this list to identify key behaviors that need to be enhanced with your direct reports.

Develop daily,

Michael Dooley

leaderdevelopmentblog.com
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 Questions: What skills did I leave out? What is your personal favorite skill you look for employees to own?

How to Use Feedback to Master Your Career Goals

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Feedback is a very powerful tool that is often underutilized. What I see happen so often is individuals waiting far too long to receive important views from others on their performance and behaviors. Imagine if you had the ability to read people’s minds! What would you do if you could predict the future? What if I told you feedback is the closest you can get to achieving these? Let’s explore how to use feedback to master your career goals:

What power does seeking feedback give?

  • Shows others you are serious about improving
  • Gives you a reputation for being humble
  • Allows others to feel important in your development
  • Provides opportunity to bring up difficult topics that might have been held back for a long time
  • Improves relationships with peers and leaders when done consistently
  • Outlines specific items for you to achieve your future career goals

How to seek feedback?

Feedback given consistently takes a lot less time to plan and deliver than waiting for long periods of time. Setting up consistent 1:1 conversations with mentors, peers, and your leader will help you work through your opportunities. Also keep in mind that not all feedback is negative, in fact most times it’s positive. Reach out to individuals through e-mail and invite them to have lunch with you and ask them specific questions. Encourage openness and be extremely respectful to their thoughts.

Some of the best advice I can give individuals is that perception is reality and you cannot use this valuable time to become defensive. If others perceive you a certain way- that is their reality and as a leaders point of view I am telling you it’s very uncomfortable to provide feedback to someone who isn’t receptive.

If your leader and peers don’t give you feedback on a consistent basis, you need to seek understanding. You might think that you are doing an excellent job when others might have totally different opinions. If you are very assertive and intimidating, others will avoid providing you feedback at all costs. Even high performers don’t get feedback sometimes because a leader is afraid it will hinder their performance.

Ask for feedback consistently, it will greatly improve your relationships with others, and improve your growth. The more difficult the feedback is, the more important it is for you to smile, accept the perception, and thank them for their openness.

Develop daily,

Michael Dooley

leaderdevelopmentblog.com
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 Question: What is the most difficult feedback you have given? Did the individual improve? 

How to Pursue a Dream and Maintain a Job

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Many people can balance both a day job and pursue their dreams. There are even a few people that already have a job they consider their dream. For the majority of people, they go to work each day and complete the tasks to help pay for a small portion of their dreams each year; vacation etc. Let’s explore some ways on How to Pursue a Dream and Maintain a Job:

Reasons we don’t pursue a dream:

  • Money factors
  • Lack of support
  • Lack of time
  • Day job consumes energy
  • Doesn’t know what dreams are
  • Not qualified to achieve goals
  • No idea where to start

Let’s address the reasons:

Money factors

Depending on what the dream is, this will take a lot of planning. If your dream is to travel, or to open your own restaurant, you will need to plan. Set aside a small amount of your paycheck and label it your dream fund. Set a goal and stick to the monthly payments. I personally am planning to travel to Thailand in a few months. I know exactly the amount I have to put aside to achieve this goal, and I am sticking to it. Find your date, and start paying it off.

Lack of support

You need to address this with those you live and work with. Let others know what your dreams are and make sure they understand they are important to you. I often feel unsupported when I am not putting enough effort towards something. When you fight through excuses and own your dream, others will be inspired by your dedication and take you seriously. Don’t be afraid to advertise your dreams and plan to the World.

Lack of time

This is a very dangerous excuse to use for almost anything. There is always time, whether you cut back on TV, or you exercise your way into having more energy. Like money, time requires a lot of planning. Plan out your daily activities and schedule yourself some time to pursue your dreams. Dreams are so powerful, that the time we spend thinking about them – we could potentially have achieved them.

Day job consumes energy

Is your energy physical or emotional energy? How much energy does your dream take? If you are mentally fatigued at the end of the day, or you feel physically tired, you need to address this immediately. I go to exercise and stress management techniques to help with my energy concerns. See my stress management and daily routine articles.

Doesn’t know what dreams are

Everyone has goals and dreams. Discuss with some friends what their dreams are; within two minutes you will be inspired and realize what yours are- I promise.

Not qualified to achieve goals

Impossible- what are your dreams? What do you consider your qualifications? If you qualify yourself based on what others tell you; you might not be right on paper. Make your own set of rules and pursue your dreams.

No idea where to start

Networking is the best place to start for support, inspiration and accountability. Since I have been writing articles and blogging, I have met countless individuals who inspire me to accomplish things I never thought possible. Find others who are in similar interest groups as your dreams, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them.

Some of the above might not apply to each person, but if one single piece of advice inspires you I have successfully pursued my own dream today.

Develop daily,

Michael Dooley

leaderdevelopmentblog.com
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 Questions: What are your dreams and how have you pursued them? Have you used any of the methods above to accomplish a dream?

 

10 Ways a Leader Builds Trust (Plus Survey)

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Trust is the foundation of great personal and professional relationships. We can destroy a connection, and we can also enhance a relationship with the power of trust.

I receive a lot of complaints from employees when there is a lack of trust for their leaders. Often times it’s a simple misunderstanding, but sometimes there is a major concern for behavior. Here I have outlined 10 Ways a Leader Builds Trust:

  1. Tells an employee directly what their strengths and opportunities are
  2. Follows up with their company initiatives
  3. Holds everyone consistently accountable
  4. Doesn’t wait for an annual review to discuss performance
  5. Doesn’t complain about customers openly with employees
  6. Supports the company and its leaders
  7. Doesn’t gossip about other employees or leaders
  8. Able to complete the same job that they expect from employees
  9. Includes everyone on decisions
  10. Completes the tasks they promise

Each individual has their own perspective on the best ways to build trust. The list above is the feedback I have received from employees over the years. Take a moment to share your own thoughts and opinions by completing the survey below.

Survey: What would you add to the list? Which do you think is most important? Let me know by completing the survey: http://goo.gl/we50hU

Develop daily,

Michael Dooley

leaderdevelopmentblog.com
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How to Decide What Career Path to Take

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Warning: I am about to get passionate on this subject, I just got finished reading some awful advice on a forum and I need to set some things straight. This article is meant to inspire career seekers, and hopefully be reinforced by experienced professionals. The following is advice on how to decide what career path to take:

Situation

I am absolutely sick and tired of parents, professionals, websites and teachers convincing young professionals that their dreams and ambitions are not suitable for today’s market. The post I just read online was a high school senior asking for career advice. She confessed that she loves journalism and reporting, and does it every chance she gets. She wrote that she has heard that the job market for this career is declining rapidly. Her inquiry was to find out what she should do.

Other’s Advice

  1. “Yep, its true journalism and reporting jobs are on the steady decline, I wouldn’t advise you to take this career path.”
  2. “Despite whether or not you can get a job in journalism, it doesn’t pay worth anything. I recommend you switch careers to make more money.”

Are you serious? My turn….

If you consume yourself with reports and data on which career to choose you might as well throw in the towel now. We can only speculate on which jobs will and won’t be here in the future. The point I want to make is that it isn’t about how much money the average Joe makes, or the guestimates of you landing a career in the field you want. You shouldn’t be concerned with the job you land, but finding ways to channel your passion into something you can be successful in.

In this scenario, I will assume the previous commenters are correct in thinking journalism is dying out as quickly as CD players. Start with analyzing what you are passionate about. If she is passionate about speaking, being heard, and others grasping on to her every word, then she must pursue those passions. This young individual could start a blog, a YouTube channel, she could make a fortune with her own website; you get the point right?

Pursue your dreams, leave out the statistics, and please people- develop daily,

Michael Dooley

leaderdevelopmentblog.com
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 Question: Did this article help? Did it hit close to home? What dreams have others tried to talk you out of?