Forbes wrote in an article based on a study that interviewed 500 business leaders, on how to spot truly exceptional employees. Such employees have these skills:
1. They’re willing to delay gratification. One thing an exceptional employee never says is, “That’s not in my job description.”
2. They can tolerate conflict. While exceptional employees don’t seek conflict, they don’t run away from it either
3. They focus. Student pilots are often told, “When things start going wrong, don’t forget to fly the plane.” Plane crashes have resulted from pilots concentrating so hard on identifying the problem that they flew the plane into the ground.
4. They’re judiciously courageous. Exceptional employees are willing to speak up when others are not, whether it’s to ask a difficult (or “embarrassingly” simple) question or to challenge an executive decision. However, that’s balanced with common sense and timing.
5. They’re in control of their egos. Exceptional employees have egos. While that’s part of what drives them, they never give their egos more weight than what is deserved.
6. They’re never satisfied. Exceptional employees have unparalleled convictions that things can always be better—and they’re right.
7. They recognize when things are broken and fix them. Whether it’s a sticky desk drawer or an inefficient, wasteful process affecting the cash flow of the entire department, exceptional employees don’t walk past problems
8. They’re accountable. If you’re a manager trying to decipher a bungled report, “It’s not my fault” is the most irritating phrase in the English language.
9. They’re marketable. “Marketable” can mean many things. Inside the organization, it means “likeable.” Exceptional employees are well liked by co-workers.
10. They neutralize toxic people. Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. Exceptional employees control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check.