We've explored the things the most respected bosses do, and the inevitable habits that unhappy employees fall into. It's only fair therefore that we talk about the habits of the world's most respected employees.
Start by thinking about the colleagues you've most enjoyed working with--the most successful and likable people. I'm confident I can describe these people, because the most respected employees often have a lot in common.
Here are 20 of the key things they do almost every day. And as bonus content, don't forget to download The Big Free Book of Success, a free, 133-page e-book.
1. They buy into the vision.
Truly great employees have a lot of options. They could probably work just about anywhere. So when they choose an employer, they make sure that the organization stands for something they can stand behind. Otherwise, they go somewhere else.
2. They look out for their peers.
A workplace isn't a family, but it is a group of people who should be committed to each other's success. Great employees know this. Lone wolves usually need not apply.
3. They take initiative.
As a boss, and as a colleague, there's nothing more annoying than an employee who sits on his or her hands, rather than tackling jobs that need to be done--regardless of whether the job is technically within that person's job description.
4. They follow through.
Reliability is a requirement. There's not much more to say on this one.
5. They offer good suggestions.
They realize that buying into the vision doesn't mean that strategy or day-to-day tasks can't be done a little better. Great employees are always looking for ways to improve.
6. They accept that they can't always win.
If they truly want to be their own boss, great employees understand that they have to go out and start their own venture. While they're working for someone else, they don't have to agree with every detail to give their all for the team.
7. They support the leaders.
They champion the great leaders and endure the not-so-great ones. If they can't do that--and keep in mind, there might be very valid reasons--nevertheless, they probably should be trying to find another place to work.
8. They take responsibility for their careers.
Modern employees probably aren't going to spend an entire career working for one organization, no matter how great it is. Great employees therefore nurture their networks and devote time to thinking about their next move.
9. They take care of themselves and their families.
Related to number 8, great employees recognize that if they don't take care of the other parts of their lives--their health, their happiness, their families--they're unlikely to be truly successful at their job, anyway.
10. They act ethically.
One wishes this would go without saying, but of course it doesn't. Great employees strive to get stuff done, but they also have a bias toward morality and fair dealing.
11. They have a sense of humor.
You know what's funny? Most things, if seen in the right light. Almost all jobs are sometimes stressful, and great employees are those who are able to laugh--and help everyone else laugh, too.
12. They look for chances to help people.
The core of a company should be problem solving. So whether it's a chance to help a colleague complete a task, or to help a potential customer find an answer, great employees always want to be part of the solution.
13. They evangelize.
Everyone's job involves sales, to some degree. Great employees know this, and are happy to spread the news about their company's great products, services, and culture.
14. They say thanks.
Gratitude improves relationships and simply makes people happier and more productive. So great employees express their appreciation.
15. They count to 10.
We all have moments of frustration. Rather than reacting immediately, great employees count to 10--sometimes figuratively, sometimes even literally.
16. They quit.
Well, sometimes. What they don't do is decide that a job isn't for them--but stay on forever anyway.
17. They recruit.
Finding and retaining great employees is an ongoing challenge in any organization. Great employees--as part of their evangelizing for the organization--are always on the lookout for other great employees to bring in.
There are certainly other habits that could be on this list. Let us know the most important in the comments--and don't forget to check out the free bonus content--The Big Free Book of Success, a free 130-page e-book.