What are the two more desired qualities in an employee? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Are you hiring a hostage negotiator or a dog groomer? A tree trimmer or a team leader? A preschool teacher or a security guard? You can see where I’m going with this.
A skilled dog groomer that despises dogs is not a good hire. The job itself dictates whether a good quality is essential and whether a bad quality is a deal breaker.
This question becomes a winner when you fill in the job title, for example: “What are the two more desired qualities for a project manager?”
To this, I would answer “initiative and creativity,” my two favorite strengths for people hired to get things started and finished. The ability to take action and move things forward without direction is valuable to all organizations. And creativity is the secret sauce for problem solving, growth and innovation.
Just for fun, let’s assume this question is being asked by an employee rather than an employer. If you’re in a job you like and you want to advance, initiative and creativity are good qualities to work on. Once you have the basic skills to do the job, your value will grow with your ability to help the organization without needing hand holding from management. Take action. Do the best first thing. Do the next thing. Then do something with what you did. Take action as if you’re the only one who will. When things don’t go as expected, create an alternative, and embrace the pivot.
When employees can make the most of the unexpected, they become treasured assets. They help others build faith in them, and they build faith in their ability to design their own success stories.
Creative initiative is a super power employees can use to direct their careers where they want them to go. A preschool teacher can grow into school principal…or into a super fulfilled pre-school teacher. A dog groomer can grow into a salon manager…or a more highly paid dog groomer.