What is the real difference between the top performers in your command and those in the middle of the pack? Are performance evaluations grounded in fair, clinically objective criteria, or dominated by subjective factors? The truth is both. Clearly, how our bosses view us often is the single greatest factor in career advancement. The good news is that each of us can influence this perception to great professional advantage.
In most cases, top performers bring a portfolio of skills and attributes to bear in their jobs. Based on an informal poll of senior military and corporate executives, the top five most frequently cited qualities of excellent performers are: "exceeds expectations," is a "solid communicator" and "great manager," has "contagious enthusiasm," and is "trusted and honest." Although unscientific, this list provides a useful framework for thinking about how your boss might view you.