December 12, 2007


Have you ever observed an employee who has "it"?

I visited a lot of companies this year. Occasionally, I'd observe an employee who has "it".

How do you know if an employee has "it"?
  • In a meeting, this person will sit at one end of the table, so all can hear this person talk.
  • Regardless of title, employees will ask this person for his/her opinion.
  • If this person sends an e-mail to a large distribution list, many people respond.
  • Executives say this person "knows what s/he is doing", even though the Executive seldom spends real time observing the work this person does.
  • On Friday afternoon at 3:00pm, employees mysteriously gather around this person, sharing stories about some random topic.
  • This person spends a lot of time combing trade journals, reading blogs, or doing research on topics not necessarily linked to his/her specific job function. And because of this habit, this person seems to be able to "see" the future better than the average person.
  • When assigned a project, this person give the Executive what she asked for, gives the Executive what she wanted but was not able to articulate, and give the Executive what is "needed" for the company to succeed.
  • This person has ideas that make a significant minority of people feel uncomfortable.
  • This person does things that other employees say "can't" be done.
  • This person does not appear to be overworked. S/he only focuses on stuff that is important, and seems to have a gift for determining what is important.
  • This person doesn't need budgetary authority to make things happen.
  • This employee isn't always on a "fast track" to Executive status. The individual is sometimes seen as a threat, or is occasionally viewed as not being a "good fit" for leadership positions.
  • For some reason, people who don't report to this person do things for this person, helping this person succeed.
  • While this person may have crabby moments, or an occasionally negative thought, overall, this person exudes confidence, optimism, joy and energy.
  • If you ask this person what s/he is working on, you might be caught off-guard by what s/he says.
  • If this person schedules a meeting, people show up on-time for the meeting.
During my travels this year, the Executive quickly volunteers to me the individuals who have "it".

My challenge to Executives is to "do something with 'it'"!