Some years ago during a visit to South Korea, I listened to a speech by an Executive Vice-President of KEPCO, the Korea Electric Power Corporation. He talked about the need to blend the desire of consumers who want to buy cheaper goods in a clean environment with the will of a company to make more money and to do this in the context of the world running in a ‘green race’ for survival. He identified their employees as his company’s most valuable asset and went on to describe the ideal employee as having three key attributes:
A team player – cooperative and capable of growing together with their colleagues
A creativity-driven professional – flexible and globally competitive
A passionate executor – innovative and able to make things happen
He did not list these attributes in any order of importance but gave them equal weighting as nodes on a circle around which the ideal employee could move effortlessly. Of course I am biased but this description sounds like an engineer!
If you are just starting a new course of education then perhaps these are the qualities that you should aim to acquire or cultivate.
If you are an employer and are lucky enough to hire one or even a group of these ‘ideal employees’ then your problems as a manager may only just be beginning. They are likely to be what is known as ‘knowledge workers’ who will share certain characteristics, including being highly educated or experienced, hate being told what to do and reluctant to share knowledge with their managers. So many employers resort to HSPALTA: Hire Smart People And Leave Them Alone.