When I was a kid, I loved the phrase “appropriate enthusiasm” and that connection endures. As much as is possible, I try to pull together a team of people who have a positive, enthusiastic outlook, are focused and passionate, who have exacting standards and who share my goal: to create work that is simply excellent on every level.
I need dependability. As a young entrepreneur, I am always being pulled in a million different directions. I need my teammates to follow through and follow up so I can keep the other balls in the air. Time I spend sending reminders to my team is time I can’t spend on client projects.
—Megan Bedera, vice president of Amplify Relations
One of the things we look for is the right attitude or a willingness to bring your A-game. They don’t need to be super passionate about what we do, so much as we want them to bring their passion to everything they do. That one characteristic trumps everything else.
—Jason Blenker, founder of Blenker Companies, Inc.
I look for teammates who are intellectually curious and always want to learn—they have great ideas and flexible thinking to bring to the table. At the same time, my teammates also have to be good listeners who are willing and able to build off of others’ ideas as we all work toward one common goal.
—Diana Goodwin, founder & president of AquaMobile Swim School
I look for talented humanists. Talent is ageless and equal opportunity, but rare. When you work with someone truly talented, they raise everyone’s game. It’s exciting to work with people who consistently inspire you with the work they do.
—John McNeil, owner of John McNeil Studio
Passion, reliability and kindness. When a person brings forth these traits, it creates a strong and invigorating (not to mention enjoyable) work experience.
—Patricia Ottaviano, author and founder of Sister Soldier
First: passion. For the best teamwork, each member of the team must care beyond just crossing off tasks on a to-do list. If they’re passionate, they care for the results and how they got there, and will motivate their teammates to do the same. Second: self-awareness. Self-awareness has driven me to be the best CEO and leader I can be, by being able to recognize areas to improve and enabling me to ask for honest feedback.
—Jerry Jao, CEO of Retention Science
High energy, a positive attitude and an unbelievable work ethic. Everything else you can teach.
—Lily Talakoub, CEO of McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center
This article appears in the March 2016 issue of SUCCESS magazine.