Tuesday, June 29, 2010

10 Attributes to Thrive In A Fast-Paced Workplace

After nearly 40 years of selecting talent for Destination Marketing Organizations, Michael Mathieu’s Corner Office Q & A a week ago in the Sunday New York Times reminded me of just how complex it can be and the attributes and predispositions that were much more important than raw talent or education or just the ability to check thinks off a list.CORNER-articleInline

He does a cool job of setting up readers with the usual, hire the best, let them do their job and then subtly distributes the caveats, some of which appear in my ten characteristics and proclivities of people who thrived around me and in the the organizations I led:

  • comfortable in a fast paced environment with a constantly moving target

  • always growing and improving, personally and organizationally

  • driven to fully utilize and adapt technology to leverage productivity

  • passionate, altruistic and always willing and able to dissent and make their voice heard

  • always asking questions and able to thrive in ambiguity and make order and find clarity out of chaos (worded very well by Mathieu)

  • comfortable processing concepts, fearless when worried about “looking dumb”

  • always thirsty for knowledge and innovation and insatiable readers

  • willing and able to confront injustice and speak up about what’s right

  • ability to get things done, in concert, and while thinking strategically

  • clear and aligned about goals and vision

A tendency I never overcame was never willingly giving up on people even when it was clear they didn't fill the bill, ultimately making it hard on myself, the organization and the people who weren’t a good fit. I had it backwards. I tended to hire fast and fire slow when the best practice is to hire slow and fire fast.

But thanks over my career to help from other team members and invaluable coaching from people like Don Clifton, founder and chair of SRI, now SRI Gallup who passed away earlier this decade and David Camner, each who at two distinct points in my career helped me become much, much better at selecting talent and team. It is one area where I grew the most in my career and still didn’t get anywhere close to where I wanted to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I learned a lot from working w/ David Camner. I'm glad you gave me that opportunity. Lenore