The 6 Habits That Make You Look Like a High Achiever to Your Manager, According to a CEO

These six habits pave the road for employees to move up in their careers.

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Deborah Sweeney102 CEO
April 23, 2024 at 5:27PM UTC
Have you ever wondered what kinds of habits high achievers have that allow them to stand out with management? These habits pave the road for employees to move up in their careers, grooming them to step into managerial roles.
What kinds of habits can an employee embrace to be seen as a high achiever? Let’s take a look at the habits you can implement now to stand out from the average employee.

1. Stand out for your ideas, not your kindness.

Emily Howe, a corporate gender strategist and coach for ambitious women, wants women in the workplace to stop doing office housework. Ditch planning socials and circulating birthday cards in favor of using your time and energy for promotion-boosting tasks that can be added with pride on your resume.
“Trying to be nice in the workplace isn’t going to get you the promotion,” Howe says. “Strong, clear ideas will, such as participating in or taking charge of initiatives directly tied to business goals.”

2. Stay curious.

There’s still no such thing as a dumb question. Being curious, according to Organizational Psychologist Nora Abdoun, PhD, is a habit that shows interest and motivation. It’s also a precursor to innovation, especially in the workplace. Abdoun advises to make it a habit to ask questions in the moment or after a bit of reflection. Curiosity, and the act of asking questions, helps connect seemingly non-connected projects together and proposes ideas from another point of view.

3. Be an energy giver and solution starter.

High achievers rarely complain about their “case of the Mondays” every week or respond “I don’t know” when asked what to do next. Shefali Raina, Founder of Alpha Lane Partners, finds that high achievers make a habit out of giving energy to people and projects. They also have a can-do solution starter mindset.
“When you ask leaders and managers who their top performers are, they will point to people on their team who have a positive mindset, are able to rally people around an idea or project, and who collaborate with others to take action and find solutions,” Raina notes.
Want to change one habit about yourself as an employee? Raina advises changing your attitude, if you aren’t already an energy giver. Turn a low energy attitude into one focused on radiating a positive mindset and energetic approach.

4. Say no.

High achievers set boundaries, according to Laura Handrick, Careers and Workplace Analyst at Fit Small Business. Handrick points out that the average worker doesn’t make it a habit to say no. Instead, they take on everything. Some of the work is then done poorly, and the employee will complain to others about how they are being overworked.
A high achiever, on the other hand, doesn’t see themselves as a victim of workload requirements. They seize the opportunity to manage up. “High achievers will put their leaders in a better decision-making position by asking for assistance to complete a project and being honest about what they need to take on new work,” Handrick says.

5. Follow through and deliver results.

Every employee is part of the workplace to get the job done. Abdoun notes that high achievers in the working world will follow through on commitments and goals. This allows them to deliver impactful results. Make it a habit to do what you say you will do and do it well consistently.

6. Think two levels ahead in your career.

Howe advises that all high achievers (and aspiring high achievers) know what job they want two levels up from where they are now. Once you have that image in mind, start dressing for it and taking on projects that will lead to that role. 

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for showing your boss you're impressive? Leave your answer in the comments to help other FGB’ers.

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