Darryl Stewart
By Darryl Stewart

The four key questions that define a great employee

There are top performers out there: people who set an example in the workplace; people who make your life easier; people who figure stuff out on their own; people with amazing skills and the desire to use them; people who inspire excellence in others. They seem to know just what to do and require only minimal supervision. These people have an aptitude for the roles they are in, a drive to succeed, and an amazing attitude.

If you want to have a high-performing team, you need as many of these great employees in key roles as possible. If you don’t have your key roles filed with great employees like this, more pressure comes back to you and you will not be able to be your best. As leaders, we always need to think about how to help the staff we have get from good to great and/or how to switch things up to get “A” players in all the key roles.

How do we know when we have it right? How do you recognize a great performer?

This 30 second clip of Meg Ryan from the movie When Harry Met Sally will help you understand what I mean.

I should be able to say “yes, yes, yes!” with the enthusiasm of Meg Ryan to all of these questions:

  • Would I hire this person again? – YES!
  • Can this person manage her/himself? – YES!
  • Does this person have tremendous insights and ideas? – YES!
  • Is this person incredibly productive? – YES!

Having a team of people about whom you’re enthusiastic makes your life so much easier and challenges you to be your best. These types of people are not inspired by a leader riding on their coattails; they expect the same commitment and skill from their leadership that they put into their own work.

Imagine if you had the time to focus on what comes next instead of what is not getting done right today. This is how it is when you have a great team. Getting there takes a commitment to putting all the yeses in place.

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Vector illustration credit: Vecteezy!