This might surprise you, but as a CEO I am always more interested in individual performance, rather than that of the team.
Firstly, it’s simpler to make individuals accountable. Let’s face it, for some, the temptation to hide within a team is just too great. Secondly, all outcomes in business and life emanate from the good or bad behavior of individuals. All that matters to me is that people are respectful of each other.
Accordingly, I am always watching for human traits that differ from those often suggested in “it’s all about the team” management theories. Here's what I look to enhance or import into my business:
1. A degree of selfishness
I look for a level of selfishness that drives an ambition to achieve. In my view, it’s both reasonable and unsurprising that many people possess a level of self-interest - it is a boss’s responsibility to channel this energy into broader, positive outcomes for the business.
Stamping your individuality on every aspect of your role, in the process bringing evidenced unique benefits to the business, is so important in standing out. You can test this by comparing your colleagues’ perceptions of your role now, with when you first took it on – for instance, has your scope of responsibility grown?
3. Bounce-back ability
Have you shown a bounce-back ability from having faced difficult scenarios at work? I bank on resilience as a trait I can never have enough of in staff members at all levels.
4. Personal insight
Some of the most intelligent people I know have a limited sense of themselves and their impact on others. I value people who continue to explore who they are by taking on different challenges. I rely on their desire for personal growth, as it will always add value.
5. People person
Do you exhibit a genuine interest in people? Without such a curiosity, it is highly unlikely you will appreciate the different drivers and circumstances that each person might possess.
I am very supportive of people who can influence in the workplace by their actions, not just their words. That type of behaviour almost guarantees a positive leadership direction.
I love opportunists. They make the world go round with their consistent prospecting for business benefits over and above the obvious. If a boss can harness such qualities, many will be positively surprised.
8. Game enough to say ‘no’
Having the gumption to say ‘no’ in a difficult circumstance, for valid or constructive reasons, is often a test of maturity. Bosses need to trust the judgment of their staff.
My truth is that promoting people with the above characteristics will ultimately give you the best chance to build a determined group, team and culture to achieve well beyond expectations.