What makes a great employee — Cameron Purdy

Cameron Purdy‘s answer to From the perspective of a CEO, what are the most underrated skills most employees lack?:

Ownership / stewardship – the #1 attribute for someone to be valuable to a team and to an organization.

Humility / listening ability – the #1 attribute for someone to be able to grow as a person, as a team member, and potentially as a leader.

Notes:
(1) Re. ownership / stewardship: key factors (in my experience) are taking responsibility for results, ability to recognize when things aren’t working, willingness to ask for help.
(2) Re. humility / listening ability: the most important advice I give VPs in Seeking Alpha is “Ask questions more”. This is particularly true in 1:1s with me. “Perhaps you don’t ask questions enough because you feel a need to demonstrate how competent you are. Understand that I have faith in you. I’ve given you a position of responsibility (= ownership). I’m rooting for you to succeed. You have nothing to prove in conversations with me. (Your success is defined by your metrics.) So there’s no need to tell me stuff. Get from me whatever you can so you’ll be more successful. You can only do that if you ask questions and share your problems.”
(3) There are three areas where VPs should ask their CEO questions: (i) Have I understood my goals correctly? (ii) Have I understood your input correctly? (iii) Can you help me solve my problems and achieve my goals?
(4) Companies mirror their founders. If your VPs don’t ask enough questions and listen to you enough, that suggests you don’t ask them enough questions and listen to them enough.
(5) Thank you Persha Valman for the tip.

2 thoughts on “What makes a great employee — Cameron Purdy

  1. Great post. I think point 2, and the importance of conveying and understanding the “Understand that I have faith in you. I’ve given you a position of responsibility (= ownership). I’m rooting for you to succeed” point is really crucial to success both as manager and as team member. That comes from having the right metrics, as you’ve mentioned a lot, but I think it’s also based on establishing good relationships (which comes back to listening and asking the right questions).

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