I asked my father for advice, as one does when they grow up. I am lucky to have a Dad who is a successful businessman. Unluckily for him, he has a professional question asker for a daughter.
I asked if he had to choose two members of his team to take with him to start a new company, who would they be?
He named names almost immediately.
“What’s so great about those people? (and how do I be like them?)”
“Well one, do your job.”
“Anticipate things,” he said. “Don’t come to me because you have a problem. Come to me with a problem and at least two ways you think we can fix it. Give me the pros and cons of each, and a recommendation. Anticipate the A, B, C, and D of what I am going to ask, and have that information ready.”
It seems obvious. But from the way my father spoke, most people come to him with fires and expect him to put them out. I am guilty of doing that to the old man myself. I also realized that doing a good job doesn’t only mean being the best at your job skill. The people who stand out are those you know you can also count on when things do not go according to plan.