We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
– Aristotle
Do you have exceptional employees? If yes, what skills or behaviors do they possess (and apply) to make you feel they are exceptional?

Travis Bradberry shares that “personality” has been rated as a key factor but clarifies that what truly makes an exceptional leader is not their personality, but rather their EQ (Emotional Intelligence).

He also shares that “unlike your personality, which is set in stone, you can change and improve your EQ” and that “exceptional employees rely on simple, everyday EQ skills that anyone can incorporate into their repertoire”.

Below are excerpts of the skills Bradberry feels set exceptional employees apart from the rest:

1.They neutralize toxic people. Exceptional employees control their interactions (and emotions) with toxic people. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground.

2.They’re marketable. This may mean “likable”, having integrity and leadership skills (even if they’re not in an official leadership position), and that they can be trusted to represent the brand well.

3.They’re accountable.  Exceptional employees own their work, their decisions, and all of their results—good or bad.

4.They recognize when things are broken and fix them. Exceptional employees don’t walk past problems; they see problems as issues to be fixed.

5.They’re never satisfied. Exceptional employees have unparalleled convictions that things can always be better; exceptional employees are driven to improve.

6.They’re in control of their egos. They’re willing to admit when they’re wrong and willing to do things someone else’s way.

7.They’re judiciously courageous. Exceptional employees are willing to speak up when others are not; they think before they speak and wisely choose the best time and place to do so.

8.They focus. They can differentiate between real problems and background noise; therefore, they stay focused on what matters.

9.They can tolerate conflict. While exceptional employees don’t seek conflict, they don’t run away from it either.

10.They’re willing to delay gratification. Instead of expecting recognition or compensation to come first, they forge ahead in their work.

These align closely with the leadership values we promote: awareness (of self and others), accountability, courage, managing conflict, staying focused, self-control, continual learners, and driving results.

What other skills do you feel exceptional employees exhibit?  


Mike and Jan

Leaders don’t need to go searching for these skills either (though it doesn’t hurt when you find them);  their duty is to help everyone on their team harness these skills to become exceptional.
—Travis Bradberry