May 6, 2023
How To Be A 10x Employee
At a glance
Today’s Fast Summary:
You can maximize company returns, add value to the organization, and boost your teammate’s productivity in the workplace.
Dedication, reliability, self-awareness, leadership skills, and independence are key qualities of 10x employees.
To be a 10x employee, you must be focused and committed to your work, show your superiors and co-workers respect, be adaptable, and show a passion for learning more about your position.
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How to outperform in your career — Become a 10x Employee
When you return home after a long day at work, how do you feel?
Do you feel fulfilled, happy, or energetic? Or do you feel tired, bored, or drained?
If you don’t like your job and find it boring, your co-workers and superiors take note.
Psychologists discovered that a positive mindset is key to steady, high-quality work, both in and outside the workplace. A positive mindset is just one of many qualities you can adopt to become a great employee.
A great employee or a 10x employee is among the highest-performing employees at a given company. They maximize the company’s returns and add value to the organization. Adding a 10x employee to a team boosts the performance of other team members by up to 15%.
So how can you become one?
The Top Traits of 10x Employees
Before we discuss how you can become a 10x employee, we must first review who a 10x employee is.
A 10x employee displays each of the following traits and characteristics:
Dedicated employees are satisfied with their job and maintain a positive attitude.
Dedicated employees are goal-oriented and understand the meaning behind their work.
Goal-oriented people are much more likely to understand performance areas that need improvement and take steps to improve.
Reliable employees show up on time and meet their deadlines.
They consistently turn in high-quality work and are open to new challenges.
A study published in the Harvard Business Review showed that of 5,000 respondents, only 10-15% were self-aware.
Self-aware employees understand their strengths and limitations.
They understand their role on a team and understand how that role fits into the larger organizational framework.
Self-aware employees complete their work with integrity.
Leadership skills are among the top reported answers to ‘What makes a great employee?’
Great leaders inspire confidence in those around them.
Strong leaders provide great feedback and receive feedback well.
Leaders embody the organization’s mission and make decisions accordingly.
Independent employees have strong time management skills and a mastery of what needs to be done.
When they encounter a problem, they check out resources to find a solution.
They take charge when necessary, and are determined to do their best.
Consider your co-workers. Are they 10x employees?
If you’re shaking your head, think of a friend or family member whom you feel is a 10x employee. What do they do? How do they act?
It’s likely they embody at least three of the characteristics we discussed.
How Can You Foster These Within Yourself?
As with most things in life, becoming a 10x employee is easier said than done.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
With a little effort and self-reflection, you can be a 10x employee.
Stay Focused and Diligent
Focus and diligence go hand in hand: Focusing on your work throughout the workday is among the best ways to become a 10x employee.
When you’re focused, you pay attention to small details in your work. Glossing over these leads to poor outcomes.
The world is made of distractions: Dings, notifications, and emails in your inbox are all examples of distractions. Turn off your phone, and keep your mind on your work.
Try the checkmark system. Each time you become distracted at work, start a tally on a sticky note.
Soon, you’ll see a pattern emerge. Use the number of tally marks as motivation.
Commit to your work. Be reliable in both your work and your timeliness.
Show Others Respect
Respect is paramount in the workplace. It’s a key quality of great leaders and requires self-awareness.
Respect comes from tolerance. Try to understand other cultures, perspectives, and ideas.
Adopt a global mindset. A global mindset is an open attitude and awareness of cultural diversity. Those with a global mindset know that their culture and mindset aren’t always the best. They are willing to integrate tactics and concepts from cultures different from theirs.
A global mindset is one of the most valued traits for top employers.
It’s unlikely you’ll be best friends with all of your co-workers; it’s nearly impossible to get along with everyone. However, conflict can be a key factor in workplace dysfunction. When you aren’t tolerant and understanding, conflict arises.
You won’t agree with everyone, and that’s to be expected.
Respect doesn’t translate to passivity—stand up for yourself.
10x employees are adaptable. It’s unlikely you do the same task in the same place each day.
Great employees aren’t afraid of change. Instead, they remain open to new skills, technologies, and platforms. Your co-workers and superiors were hired for a reason—be open to their ideas.
Flexibility requires you to be open to other ideas and opinions, or new workplace models entirely. New things are not inherently good or bad until you’re tried them.
Never Stop Learning
Great employees never stop learning new skills, software, and concepts. Not only that, but they actively apply these new ideas to their work.
Don’t get too comfortable. If you find yourself going through the motions, seek opportunities to learn something new about the job or the organization. There are always new things to learn, regardless of how long you’ve been with a certain company.
Be eager to learn more. Put your best foot forward each day.
Try these tips to become a 10x employee. I promise that you’ll be glad you did.
Once again, this week we’re going to look inward and consider our own habits.
I ask you to think realistically about your workplace conduct and how it's affecting your job performance.
Remember, even the best employees can benefit from a brief refresher. Be honest with this exercise, and use it to be the best employee you can be.
Consider the great employees you’ve met.
a. Think of a co-worker, supervisor, parent, friend, or family member whom you feel is a great employee. On a piece of paper or sticky note, write down their name and a few qualities that make them a great employee.
b. Now, compare what you’ve written to the qualities discussed in this newsletter. Is there any overlap? What might you have missed?
Reflect on your own behavior at work. For this portion, consider only concrete habits and behaviors.
a. Make a brief, yet brutally honest schedule of what you do during a typical day at work. Be as specific as possible.
b. Check out what you’ve written. Is there anything in the schedule you’re not proud of, or you feel is not exemplary of the qualities we presented? Write down which ones aren’t indicative of a great employee.
c. Which ones are indicative of a great employee? Look at the mock schedule, and circle the habits you feel are serving you and your organization.
Now, consider how your positive workplace behaviors are helping you be the best employee possible.
a. Which habits are reflective of great leaders?
b. Where are you showing respect and self-awareness?
c. What are you doing that shows dedication or reliability?
d. Are you independent at work?
e. How can you maximize and improve the skills and behaviors of great employees? How can you further apply them to your day to day?
Check out what you’ve written, and use it to become a 10x employee. You can be a great employee—it’s well within your reach.
I’d love to hear from you:
Question 1: Which of these qualities do you feel you already exemplify?
Question 2: Which of these qualities do you feel you’re lacking? How can you strengthen them?
Question 3: What did you feel was missing? What qualities would you add to the list?
Tweet at me (@_alexbrogan) or respond to this email — I’ll try to respond to everyone.
Have a wonderful, Wednesday all.
Until next time,
P.S. — My Pick of the Week
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