Last week, I had a good chat with an American who is chief executive officer of some big technology company in the United States of America.
His name is Howard. In the chat, Howard told me that when he looks at or evaluates staff, he looks at two main things: performance and set of behaviours.
Performance is an obvious thing that everyone knows as important for one to get a job and keep the job and even to get promoted. This is about the results that one produces as output of his or her effort.
Usually, it is directly linked with the amount of effort that you exert. Basically, the more you work, the more results you produce. It is also linked with the ‘how’! If you work smartly and efficiently, you are likely to produce more result in less time and using less effort than your peers that are working less efficiently and not as smartly.
Howard told me that he meets employees that are good doers with great performance and yet, they do not have attractive sets of behaviours. He says that performance is not enough to make one a great employee or candidate for employment or promotion.
He wants a good performer that also possesses a good set of behaviours. These are the intangible attributes that make one a good employee like being a good team player, negotiator, gentle and so on.
I asked him if by a good set of behaviour he was referring to having a good attitude? His answer was that a good attitude is a big but not complete part of set of behaviours.
If you want to excel in your career, it is of paramount importance that you optimise not just your performance track record but also that you sharpen your set of behaviours. You need to have the best set of behaviours.
Sadly, many people simply recognise the importance of performance without taking into account the vital role of the bahaviours.
That is why sometimes, people wonder why a good performer does not get the promotion or other great career opportunities at the office. It is well possible that the employee ticks most of the boxes but fails on the set of behaviours.
In short to have a good set of behaviours, first you need to recognise the need to pay attention beyond your results and performance—to important aspects that have equally great influence on your career sustainability and progress.
The first thing to do here is to have a candid personal reflection. Check what you do right things you do not do right or do not do at all. This is in relation to the softer sides of your job like team spirit, supporting others and so on.
Once you identify the gaps, you need an action plan that helps you to close all the identified gaps. This may include being a lot more patient and tolerant. In the long term, this becomes very productive and useful. This means that once you fix your gaps on the set of behaviours, you need to safe guard the same. It is a continuous process. You need to continuously keep green your set of behaviours.
Howard then delved in the interesting combinations. First he stated that it is obvious that some great performers have bad sets of behaviours. This is not the best or desired state of affairs he said. And he proceeded to give another example, being those that have a great set of behavours but due to low levels of performance, they are not regarded very highly at all.
Ideally, you should be aiming to optimise your performance while at the same time ensuring that you have the best possible set of behaviours. This is the only way through which you can be assured of good jobs and great job promotions. Good luck as you chart the new way to career success. Rise and shine!