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My Favorite Potential Factor at Our Company: Figures Things Out (Smart)...

Over at the company I own part of (Kinetix), we have potential factors instead of values.  They're designed to identify what we value most in talent and as such, should be our guides in how we hire, promote and reward, and at times, fire.

You can find all of our potential factors in an online document/handbook we call The Kinetix Code.

My favorite potential factor?  This one:

Figures Things Out (Smart) - Yeah, we said it. You’ve got to be smart and be able to figure things out on your own to work here. While we like high IQ’s, we also value street smarts. Our talent has an innate ability to take an incomplete request and figure out what would make the final product great. That involves knowing where to find the information, identifying when to ask for help, and how to create work product that makes others say, “damn.”

Take an incomplete request and don't be a victim.  Do something and be smart enough about business that what you did makes sense - hell, it's what we would have done!



I really like this one.

I tell people "if you can do this, you will be super effective. You will get things done and be on to the next project while others are still waiting for instructions - instructions which their boss is too busy to give and that they can figure out themselves".

Sometimes just STARTING a job is helpful. Then you can phrase questions to your boss in an "option 1, option 2" fashion.

It is true that there are micromanaging bosses that may punish you for assuming too much, but most are just grateful not to have to baby you. Also, I've seen cultures (former communist nations, e.g.) that have a problem working with incomplete requests. Of course, that is just my slice of experience.

Lastly, a tell-tale sign of a disengaged worker is requiring that instructions be super-specific. He/She may not be interested in digging deeper and/or may want to set things up so there is NO WAY failure is ever their fault - which circles us back around to the "Don't be a victim" comment. I sometimes claw out of a disengagement spiral by reminding myself not to be a victim. (it just never works out, does it?)

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