Ten Personal Qualities Shared by High Potential Employees

Being successful is about more than just knowing how to the job. Employers often consider personal qualities when evaluating your potential, and that of other high potential employees.

With that in mind, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council were asked this question:

What is one personal quality you value most in your high potential employees?

Enjoy their insightful answers. Then nurture these qualities within yourself. Doing so will make you a better candidate, a better employee, and better person.

Eagerness to Learn

diana-goodwin high potential employees“I value employees who continually show a thirst for knowledge. Those who take the time to learn new skills that could benefit the company. A large capacity to learn shows me that as the company grows, the employee will grow. With the increasing demands of their position, they will continue to move up the ladder, instead of falling behind.

Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile Swim School


Street Smarts With a Dose of Sass

nicole-munoz“My best team members are smart, passionate and well-researched in their fields. They also have the confidence to stand up to me and ask questions (politely, of course). It helps us all improve when we collaborate on why we’re taking a specific course of action. Especially when someone says, “What if we do it this way?” and they’re right!”

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now



Marcela De Vivo“Every workplace is inundated with devices. It’s easy for employees to get distracted and spend time doing other things on their phone or social media. More than anything, we value integrity. We want to work with people who are honest about their time at work. Who work hard and are committed to the company. Bright employees who figure out shortcuts can be a liability. Integrity is the most valuable quality.”

Marcela De Vivo, Gryffin


Attention to Detail

josh-spragueSloppiness can be a massive crutch, even if you’re the most motivated and intelligent person for the job. I love seeing someone complete a task on time that is spell checked, organized, thorough and on point. That is a sure sign of a high potential employee.”

Josh Sprague, Orange Mud




kenneth-cucchia“Loyalty is one of the most important traits I look for. No business relationship will ever work out well without trust. Surrounding yourself with people around who truly believe in your vision and make it their own is a goldmine. In fact, they’re worth their weight in gold. Make sure they eat before you do. Because if they don’t, you’ll starve anyway.”

Kenneth Cucchia, Deals4Meals.com



True Confidence

mac-morgan“Employees able to stand by their opinions and suggestions and defend them thoughtfully and respectfully impresses me. It shows they’re capable of being a true leader. Essentially, I value confidence. People who are truly confident aren’t making arbitrary decisions. They’re not pushovers, and most importantly, they’re able to defend their perspective while remaining receptive to critiques.”

Mac Morgan, Tonic Design Co.



joseph-walla“You can always find people with skills, but you can’t always find empathy paired with talent. There have been studies that indicate that the most effective teams aren’t the most intelligent. They don’t have the best degrees. And they aren’t the most charismatic. They’re the ones with the most empathy. That’s why we put a premium on empathy and have made it a core value.”

Joseph Walla, HelloSign



tarek-pertew“It’s a rare quality to find. Folks that can work through obstacles creatively have my favorite characteristic. To know that a project may come with unique challenges can be stressful for a manager. I look to assign someone who is capable of digging his or her heals in and independently creating solutions.”

Tarek Pertew, Uncubed



High Energy

jayna-cooke“My high energy employees are always the most successful. I look for my employees to be energized and positive about what we are doing in the marketplace. This tells me they are passionate about their job, which will get them far.”

Jayna Cooke, EVENTup



Value Alignment

personal qualities“Value alignment is an absolute prerequisite, but beyond that, we look for a growth mindset. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Raw talent, education, professional pedigree and personality are worthless without a drive, curiosity and passion to better oneself.”

Christopher Kelly, Convene



For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Business Collective!


personal brand


YECYoung Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.



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