One of the goals of team leaders is to identify the up and coming talent that is already within the walls of the organization. For most of us, they stand out like a purple cow. What is it that makes them so easy to spot?

 Here are four characteristics that stand out:

  1. Positive attitude
  2. Show up/available
  3. Open to learning new things
  4. They get the job done

These are all good things. However, how many times have we had that so called “perfect fit” become a not-so-perfect fit? Perhaps more than we would like to admit! Naturally, we as leaders are drawn to those with great attitudes and those who roll up their sleeves to get the job done.

What is really happening is we are noticing those around us who have differentiated themselves from their peers. This is a good thing! As I was climbing the leadership ladder during my time in corporate America, I had an Executive sit me down. He told me, “Charlie, I have good news and bad news for you today. The bad news is, you have lots of competition. The good news is, they’re not that good!”

He went on to say, “It will NOT be very difficult for you to stand out or to distance yourself from your competition or even those paid by this very firm.” He continued, “If you simply show up for work on time, you will separate yourself from most.” He shared some very practical things that were not taught to me during business school. He said, “Shine your shoes and have a great attitude.”

Of course, these are all practical things as they hardly speak to one’s capacity or lead us to believe one can lead a team. So what’s the point? It does not take much to stand out. Yes, we are to encourage this type of behavior. We certainly want those that serve with us to know we care about them and we want them to know they are appreciated. But the real question is, can this person actually lead? In my next blog, we will look to find if one can lead by performing what I call a simple self-test. Until then…

Lead well and by example!

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