Great reports are reliable, proactive, diligent, good leaders and good followers. They possess a wide range of easily-defined — but hard to find — qualities. But few hit the next level: some reports are simply remarkable, possessing qualities that may not appear on performance appraisals but nonetheless make a major impact on performance and on the bottom line. Jeff Hayden, a successful Director himself and now a ghostwriter to some of the most successful business books authors in the world today, has developed this list that he considers the most important qualities of remarkable reports:
- THEY FREQUENTLY IGNORE JOB DESCRIPTIONS: because many time they have to think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done. When a key customer’s project is in jeopardy, a remarkable report knows without being told when there’s a problem and jumps in without being asked—even if it’s not his or her job.
- THEY TEND TO BE ECCENTRIC…: Remarkable reports are often a little different: quirky, sometimes irreverent, even delighted to be unusual. They seem slightly odd, but in a really good way. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a plain-vanilla group into a team with flair and flavor. People who aren’t afraid to be different naturally stretch boundaries and challenge the status quo, and they often come up with the best ideas.
- …BUT THEY KNOW WHEN TO DIAL IT BACK: An unusual personality is a lot of fun… until it isn’t. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, the best reports stop expressing their individuality and fit seamlessly into the team. Remarkable reports know when to play and when to be serious; when to be irreverent and when to conform; and when to challenge and when to back off. It’s a tough balance to strike, but a rare few can walk that fine line with ease.
- THEY PUBLICALLY PRAISE…: Praise from a boss feels good. Praise from a peer feels awesome, especially when you look up to that person. Remarkable reports recognize the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words is even greater.
- …AND THEY PRIVATELY COMPLAIN:We all want our reports to bring issues forward, but some problems are better handled in private. Great reports often get more latitude to bring up controversial subjects in a group setting because their performance allows greater freedom. Remarkable reports come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm.
- THEY SPEAK WHEN OTHERS WON’T: Some reports are hesitant to speak up. Some are even hesitant to speak up privately. Remarkable reports have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues, even when others hesitate.
- THEY ARE DRIVEN: Self-motivation often springs from a desire to show that doubters are wrong. The kid without a college degree or the woman who was told she didn’t have leadership potential often possess a burning desire to prove other people wrong. Education, intelligence, talent, and skill are important, but drive is critical. Remarkable reports are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do an acceptable job.
- THEY ALWAYS TRY TO MAKE THINGS BETTER: Some people are rarely satisfied (in a good sense) and are constantly tinkering with something: reworking a timeline, adjusting a process, tweaking a workflow. Great employees follow processes. Remarkable reports find ways to make those processes even better, not only because they are expected to… but because they just can’t help it.