Five Traits of Difference Makers: Do Your Homework

What’s Inside

Every company wants to attract and keep the difference makers, the people who are worth their weight in gold. But how do you identify those you already have and find more of them? This article series goes beyond traditional HR approaches to examine five intangible qualities that identify those who can make a difference in your organization.

Key Points

This article explains the trait of Homework: the ability to understand and distill the details of any task. Those with the Homework trait extract the essential meaning and most important aspects of the knowledge they acquire. Observable skills that contribute to this trait are:

  • Not only do those with Homework prepare, but their hands go up when a new challenge needs to be attacked.
  • They delve into the issues and bring potential solutions. Even if those solutions are not the right answer, they help move the ball forward.
  • One of the keys to business process improvement is staying ahead of the industry curve. What are industry leaders and your competitors doing that you are not (and vice-versa)? How can those lessons be best applied? The Homework colleagues help answer these questions.
  • Homework colleagues communicate effectively in writing and provide context. Even a reader with no previous knowledge will grasp the meaning.

Why it Matters

Difference makers are often missed through standard HR and development processes. Sometimes they hide in plain sight. In a time of high turnover, leaders need to be prepared to attract and retain employees who display the Homework trait.