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Five Traits of High-achieving Employees You Should Know

Create a learning culture that challenges and plays into employees' natural passions

 “I really don’t know if I have anything to teach Colin. He’s one of the most capable people I’ve ever met,” Lisa told me. She was a marketing vice president who served as a mentor in a talent development program I was leading for a large multinational firm.

Two months into the mentoring experience, Lisa quickly realized that the approaches she had applied with past mentees wouldn’t be sufficient for developing Colin. Her first hint was in his application to the company’s program. Colin noted that he wanted to be mentored because he was “hungry for new insights and opportunities to grow.”

Comments from his managers indicated he was widely regarded as a future C-suite leader and had a track record of success in every role he’d been in since joining the company five years ago. Each of the managers felt challenged with finding the edges of Colin’s capability, which they never quite seemed to accomplish, despite assigning him to complex projects.

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