At some point in your career, you might have read or heard someone calling themselves a self-starter.
Maybe you’ve been told you should hire such people onto your team.
But what’s so good about self-starter employees? And how can they contribute to your team achieving a huge alpha?
Here’s how hiring self-starters can benefit you
Self-starters start work without a nudge
They don’t need you to tell them to start working on a task – they’re on it! The opposite of employees who do bare minimum.
Self-starters don’t need to be spoon fed
You don’t need to give painstakingly detailed step-by-step instructions before they feel confident with the task.
They’ll dive in and ask for guidance if they get stuck.
Self-starters might cause healthy competition
Their just-go-and-do-it attitude might rub off on others in the team. You can expect to see others imitating their burning desire to “get on with it” and maybe even a little healthy competition.
Self-starters take up less of your time
They often know what to do next or at least find out on their own. You’re less likely to end up in “do this… now do this” back-and-forth. More time for strategic work… like your golf swing 😉
Self-starters do their homework
They are less likely to make you say, “Bring me solutions, not just the problems!”. That’s because self-starters will often work out potential solutions before presenting a problem to you.
Self-starters will take calculated risks
They’re confident enough in their abilities to act on the best information available at the time. They refuse to sit and wait for more data because that can make the work fall behind.
Self-starters are less resistant to change
They have a curious mindset is the spark for their action. They see change through this lens of curiosity. This makes self-starters more likely to be open to innovations in their role and workplace.
Self-starters sound like certain movie characters, don’t they?
Self-starters are like every strong protagonist who manages to come out on top at the end of movies.
They investigate out of curiosity – without waiting for anybody’s say so. They devise solutions on their own. They take calculated risks.
Such movie characters don’t wait for divine intervention or bide their time like supporting characters do.
The end result of their actions: beyond satisfactory performance.
What this means for you: productivity beyond a simple “satisfactory” grade.
This scenario shows how self-starters stand out from others
Setting up the scene
You manage a large team, which you’ve split into two sub-teams. Each is run by a supervisor who reports to you.
One of these supervisors is a typical self-starter. Let’s call him Don. The other, not so much. Let’s call him Ted.
You’ve been given a critical project by the CEO herself. She wants you to run a bake-off between your 2 sub-teams.
Ted is waiting for your word to get the team rounded up. Don’s already found out the project’s specifics and briefed his team.
Let’s see how they both act when the project kicks off…
Ted waits for you to advise him about assigning tasks. Meanwhile, Don has started assigning tasks and runs it by you in the next meeting.
Don gets advice from specialists on his team on pressing problems then asks for your take. Ted brings you the problem to solve.
Ted’s people sit on their work until told to continue – just like Ted. Don’s people start the next task while they wait for feedback.
Ted keeps going around in circles based on what people are telling him. Don looks at the ongoing situation and makes calculated decisions.
Now, Ted’s no villain. But can you see that Don’s methods would increase work quality with less of your involvement?