How superstar employees excel.
10x employees are individuals that have the ability to excel in their jobs while making it look effortless.
They’re exceptionally skilled, operationally excellent, and often have a remarkably positive attitude. And at the same time, they make it seem easy.
Some may shrug this off and attribute it to natural talent or ‘luck’, but in reality, what seems straightforward on the surface, is the result of key common qualities that can only be learned through repetition.
The ones I’ve observed over the years:
Influence is often associated with assertive, dominant, and possibly, brash people. But those who command soft power—the capacity to shape outcomes through cooperation as opposed to coercion—are the most effective influencers I know.
Influence others by listening carefully to understand the problem deeply, then aligning solutions with incentives.
We have two modes:
Dot collecting - embracing new opportunities
Dot connecting - synthesizing experiences into valuable new ideas
Open yourself up to new experiences. Then, observe patterns in your environment and run experiments to validate your beliefs.
(H/t to Kyle Hagge)
The Navy SEALs having a saying. When something doesn’t go according to plan, they say ‘Full benefit.’
Lose a draft of your document? Full benefit.
Manager left the team? Full Benefit.
Dashboard breaks? Full benefit.
Every situation is an opportunity for growth.
(H/t to Teddy Mitrosilis)
Identify Asymmetrical Bets
Google encourages its employees to spend 20% of their time exploring projects that have no immediate impact, but could have dividends down the road. They’ve even devoted an entire team to this idea, called Area 120.
Chase your curiosity and seek activities that have disproportionally high potential upside.
In business and life, conflict is inevitable. While we think we are logical beings, we’re prone to bias and emotions, and we tend to make decisions on emotion.
How you deal with conflict reveals who you are as a person. Always seek to understand the other person first, find common ground, and focus on finding solutions.
If you’re frustrated, angry, or sad—pause, take a breath, and resume later.
It’s impossible to complete everything on any given day.
Prioritize tasks that are high value - high urgency
Reschedule tasks that are high value - low urgency
Delegate tasks that are low value - high urgency
Decline tasks that are low value - low urgency
Prioritization is about subtraction, not addition.
Leading Without Authority
You must demonstrate leadership skills before you’re promoted into a leadership position.
Build trust with your peers by consistently delivering results
Build expertise in your domain by working outside your comfort zone
Build relationships in the company by being sincere, empathetic, and kind
Once you have broad knowledge and deep trust, you’ll be seen as a leader in the organization.
Designing Feedback Loops
The most intelligent individuals do one thing in common: they orchestrate tight feedback loops.
They’re able to thoroughly observe a problem, define hypotheses, and test them rapidly to understand causal effects.
Be precise and rigorous in how you design and validate your assumptions.
Throughout school and university, we’re taught that longer is better. We’re graded on minimum word count and encouraged to complete lengthy assignments.
In the real world, information is abundant but signal is scarce.
Those who are able to break through noise have the power to command the attention of millions.
Simplify your message. Speak and write with clarity, precision, and purpose.
Lastly, all this is valuable—but meaningless without execution.
Be ready to roll up your sleeves, dive into the chaos, and do the grunt work.
Ideas are cheap, execution is everything.
P.S - if you enjoyed this, check out my Twitter where I share shorter-form ideas on leadership, growth, and performance.