What Makes a Top Performer?

Oftentimes, companies will only hire if they need it. Hiring people because they are talented and
 exceptional—regardless if a position is available or not—is rare but recommended. After a few months of just being given something to do,
 company leaders find these talented new employees making significant contributions and
 filling important roles within their businesses. So, what are the key
 elements to being that talented and exceptional employee? Here are five telltale
 characteristics:

1. Intellectual Firepower

Brainpower is the most important of all these traits; it’s the foundation 
for all of our work. Overall intelligence encourages thoughtful analysis: 
asking the right questions, strong judgment, and better decision making. 
When companies are interviewing you, take them through your life: family
 history, high school, college, etc. Let them know that you reached beyond 
your academic potential and have demonstrated leadership throughout your life.

2. Values

You can be the smartest kid in the room, but it won’t get you very far if
 you lack basic integrity and compassion for others. Although values may be 
difficult to communicate in an initial meeting, how you speak about yourself 
and your life experiences are key indicators. Companies are looking for 
members of their staff to exhibit decency, honesty, respect, kindness, generosity, and 
consideration.

3. Passion

Although it’s become an overused word in recent years, it still holds
 weight. Enthusiasm and interest in your work make you stand out. It’s 
also a much easier attribute to spot than intrinsic values: you either have passion or you don’t.
 Passionate people have an infectious spirit about them—you can often feel 
it. These are the people who will inspire passion in others 
to care about accomplishing anything that comes their way.

4. Work Ethic

What have you sacrificed at times to work instead of play? This is another easy trait to pick up on in interviews. To an extent, work can be 
like that: having to make wise choices regarding your free time in order to perform at 
the highest level at work.

5. Experience

This comes last on the list because the other four can be strong indicators that hiring is recommended without it. Experience is something that can be provided 
to you by the company. The company may give you an opportunity to learn a 
new discipline or job. Nevertheless, it is important, but it can be 
superseded by the other four.

Ideally, employers like to fill positions with the right people at the right times. But wise employers will take chances with raw talent to push their business to the next level. Showing your edge over the competition can make you that person.