Traits of Top Performers
I recently completed a course called 'The DNA of Top Performers' which was a part of the Leadership Essentials certificate offered by the University of Toronto's School of Continuing studies. It was an excellent course and I highly recommend it to those looking to further their professional studies or people looking to grow personally.
A challenge proposed in this class was to consider the top 10 qualities we believed to exemplify top performers. It took some introspection and careful consideration of the successful people and clients I have worked with but came up a Listing that I believe is true to the mark
Some top performers have excellent people skills. These people know how their words and actions affect other people. They can control and elicit the response they want out of the people they interact with. This separates them from others that are ignorant of how their behaviors affect people. Although not true for all top performers. those with strong interpersonal/empathetic skills go further towards meeting their goals than their Less Smooth' counterparts.
2. Present to the task/situation at hand:
Top performers are intensely focused. They are continually working towards their goals and working to address the situation at hand. They do not Let the scars from their past or their fear of the future Limit or distract them from their goal at hand. Average performers may have a failure early in their life or career and Let this early experience act as a Limit or boundary to their abilities. Similarly, they may have doubts as to what they are capable of and as a result may shy away from great accomplishments for fear of failing big in the future.
3. High-level thinkers:
These individuals work hard and work smart. They maintain their goal and their vision readily available to the top of their mind and are constantly working towards it. They do not toil away at meaninglles goals that do nothing to further the aspirations. This is in contrast to average performers that may work hard and indeed be successful, but may not realize that the destination of all their hard work is not where they intend.
4. Critical thinkers:
Top performers are sharp. They are not easily fooled and they are not easily distracted. They are constantly evaluating situations in order to determine whether it brings them closer, or takes them farther away from their goals. Average performers may be smart in many senses of the word, but those that lack critical thinking skills will Likely take more detours and hit more dead ends in their journey to their goals.
5. Continuously Evaluating the Positives and Negatives of their Performance:
Many top performers are hard on themselves. They critically breakdown their performance and determine what they did well and what they could do better. In this way they identify strengths to build on, weaknesses to address and learn from their mistakes. They are always growing and use their past to do so. This sets them apart from average performers that may attribute success and failure to outside forces or luck. These average performers are Less likely to self-identify areas of weakness and will be more prone to repeat past mistakes.
6. They believe they can be better
Top performers do not Let their failures 'get to them'. They see their failures as learning experiences. They take much from all their experiences and believe that given the same set of circumstances, they will do better in subsequent situations. In contrast, average performers are more easily discouraged when they are unsuccessful at a given task.
7. They watch and learn from their role models:
High achievers learn from many sources and utilize those ahead of them as role models. They recognize greatness in others and try and emulate the best parts of them. Average performers, may overestimate the abilities and overly discount the experience and talent of those that have gone before them.
8. They are productive in what matters to them:
Top performers know what is important to them. They do not grind away at things that do not lead them to their goals. They are clear in their objectives and align all of their hard work and focus on those areas they decide to be important. This is in contrast to other Less successful individuals that may work very hard at the task in front of them or at something someone else (friends, family, colleagues, etc.) has identified for them. These average performers may be recognized externally for their great accomplishments, but If these accomplishments are made in areas that are not important to the individual, they will not feel successful on a personal level.
9. They surround themselves with a good support system:
Top performers know that they cannot 'go it alone' and as a result find people that believe in their abilities and support them when their motivation or drive wanes. Perhaps not explicitly, but these people consider themselves and those around them as an organization, actively acquiring and firing people close to them. They distance themselves from those who may not believe in them or try to bring them down (negative, toxic people). In place of the distanced people, top performers will feel compelled to those people who believe and actively support them. On the other hand, average performers will be less discriminating with whom they spend their time. They will continue to spend their time with unsupportive. negative people. These negative people will (Ultimately Limit the individual's growth and performance and keep them from reaching their true potential.
10. They take their chances:
Top performers are quick to identify and capitalize on opportunities. These people are more relaxed, more confident, and convert more of the chances that are given to them. Unlike average performers, they do not Let many opportunities slip. And If they do, they work hard to analyze the situation, grow, and ensure that the next time they are given a chance, they will make the most of it.
I would love to hear your thoughts!