Want a profitable business or successful initiative? It’s easy. You just have to make sure that you surround yourself with the right people. By ‘the right people’ I don’t necessarily mean the smartest people or the ones with multiple degrees on their resume. The right people are the ones with the right attitude.
Innate personality traits are the only things that you cannot train for – absolutely every other skill on the planet can be learned.
Too many times I’ve inherited individuals on teams that were incredibly smart, but spent all their time trying to prove how smart they were. Their CV’s were decked out, they had all the experience, and yet somehow they just weren’t contributing to the goals and vision of the organization as expected. They weren’t the right fit. Their inherent personality traits were simply not aligned with the culture of the organization, and this was creating a blockage in the flow.
An emotionally intelligent – or should I say “emotionally connected” – leader will always look for two things when hiring new talent for their team. First, a set of skills that they personally don’t have. Second, team members that not only fit the culture the leader is trying to build but also have the ‘right’ set of personality traits that cannot be trained.
Here’s my list of eight personality traits that cannot be trained or taught:
1. Strong Work Ethic. Do they work hard when you are not watching? Are they self-starters requiring little direction?
2. Passionate. Do they love what they are doing – even if that is doing the worst job in the company?
3. Punctual. Being on time says a lot about a person. It shows they are organized, it shows they are good planners. It shows they have a healthy dose of appreciation and respect for the people around them. Ultimately, it shows they have respect for themselves and their brand.
4. Coachable. I coach a number of CEO’s, all of them incredibly successful. Still, they realize that they do not have all the answers and want to further their leadership development. Think about it… the world’s top athletes – no matter what sport – have a coach. It makes perfect sense that top performers in business and leadership should also have coaches. If a person is not open to new ways of thinking and doing things, they will most likely also think they know everything. This mindset is incredibly dangerous to the culture, customers, and the business as a whole.
5. Prepared. It doesn’t take any special skills to prepare in advance for meetings and presentations. You wouldn’t pack for a vacation when the taxi is waiting outside your door to take you to the airport!
6. Body Language. The truth in what you say is always portrayed in your body language. If your brain is excited about the work you are doing, your body will show it!
7. Going the Extra Mile. As a consumer, it is always such a nice surprise when I get more than I paid for, like getting 13 eggs when I paid for a dozen. It’s memorable. People are memorable when they offer more than people expect.
8. Energy. Believe me, even when you are tired beyond words, there is still more energy in your tank. Having run a number of marathons and done lengthy open water swims, I am always amazed at how there is always enough energy to finish what I started. The biggest problem most people have with the level of energy they put into something is the 6 inches between their ears. So next time you’re looking to hire a new team member, make sure they tick all of the boxes above. No matter what you do after they’re hired, these skills can’t be taught!
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.Business Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Hiring, Leader, Leadership, Personality Traits, Robert Murray, Robert S. Murray, Team, Vancouver BC