I was also reading an interesting article on Inc.’s Leadership section called “The 5 Traits of High-Potential Employees.” Author Samuel Bacharach claims these five traits are as follows: 1) lots of knowledge about the business and a thirst to continue learning; 2) respect from colleagues; 3) ambition; 4) teamwork and team-building skills; and 5) guts (Source).
Being a remarkable employee requires so much thankless hard work that some feel it isn’t worth it. Most are capable of hard work but instead make excuses. “I tried working hard for a minute, but I didn’t get instant recognition, so I stopped.” “No one else is working hard. Why should I?” I think a remarkable employee works hard because the work itself is the reward. I also think we all have the power to become remarkable employees. We may hate our job, hate our boss, hate our co-workers, but those are all excuses. Those who don’t go the extra mile at a job they hate won’t go the extra mile at a job they adore.
My students often say, “I don’t need to put in a lot of work preparing for this presentation because it’s just one speech. It’s just one speech in a Professional Communication and Presentation class. It doesn’t matter. When it’s a big deal, I’ll put in the work. I’ll work hard when it matters.” Sadly, if we don’t practice being remarkable by ourselves, alone in the dark, when no one else can see us, we certainly won’t be able to be remarkable when it counts in front of people. We haven’t prepared ourselves for the insane work ethic we truly need in order to be remarkable; we don’t know how because we haven’t practiced. So when I feel alone at work in the “vast, unpopulated wasteland” that is the extra mile, I remind myself that putting in that hard work now allows me to get in the habit of being remarkable (Source). And as my man Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”