What does it take to be successful at work?

James R. Becker, Jr.

December 27, 2017

I was recently reading an article by Brandon Steiner, a well-known author and speaker on success, and he had 10 skills people need to cultivate for success in the workplace.  I love lists like this because they are relatively easy to digest and understand and they contain a lot of information.  Mr. Steiner's Top 10 skills for success was,

  1. Heart: how much you care to be successful for yourself and your company.
  2. Courage: understanding it's risky not to take risks.

  3. Passion: finding what it is that you love to do, then doing it.

  4. Gratefulness: appreciating the people and opportunities in your life.

  5. Energy: bringing everything you have, every day you show up to the office.

  6. Compassion: developing strong customer service skills, and caring for each customer.

  7. Loyalty: staying true to your employers and your company.

  8. Respect: respecting everyone that surrounds you each day.

  9. Discipline: being capable of staying on a path you pre-determined for yourself.

  10. Self-worth: being able to recognize the value you have within yourself.

Of these, as an employer and employment law counselor, I find heart, energy and loyalty being the most important.  If an employee brings heart and energy to her job every day, success becomes a very simple thing.  As an example, I will use my own son as a study.  He took a job this past summer doing work for an industrial engineering firm.  He loves what he does and goes out of his way to ensure that every part of every job he does, he does to the very best of his ability.  He cares about his success and the success of his company.  He takes it personally when something he does goes awry or is not completed.  He translates that heart into the energy do his job.  Every single day, he works as hard as he can at everything he does.  Consequently, within his first couple of weeks, he was moved to working directly with the vice-president of the company and now is in charge of running jobs with guys many years his senior.  The last part of this story, this 19-year old was working a drive-in window at McDonald's before he was hired at the industrial engineering firm.

Whenever I am talking to a client about how to address their job situation, I point to these traits.  It's easy to talk about having these traits, but is hard to actually do.  As an employer I have hired employees with no qualifications for the position simply because of the energy I saw during the interview.  I have never been disappointed by a single one of those hires.  As a father, I have seen my son succeed because of these traits.  As an employee, you need to ask yourself what you are doing to embody these traits.