Venu Payyanur

There are many books and training programs created to help employees improve their performance and self esteem on their job. So why to create one more? Likewise there are many cook books written by very eminent chefs across the world. Does that mean that we have seen the last book published on that topic? Everything is evolving and there are always new things to learn and practice and this article will also help all those who are starting their career or in the middle of their career to evolve and become even more successful going forward.

My wife is an excellent cook and she can prepare mouth watering dishes of many varieties. However our two daughters refused to enter kitchen as long as they were in the schools and colleges. Finally, just before marriage, my elder daughter decided to learn something from her mummy and entered the kitchen ceremoniously. They have collectively decided to prepare, the most popular and must have south Indian dish – the great Sāmbhar to begin with. My daughter told my wife, “mummy, you just sit there and tell me what to do; i will do everything today and give you the best Sāmbhar you ever had”. “Fine” said my wife and started giving instructions as to how to prepare the dish. First keep all the necessary ingredients required to prepare the dish and take from the kitchen shelf  mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, tamarind, asafoetida, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, toor dal……. wait, wait, shouted my daughter, what are these and where is it available?? Because she has never entered the kitchen, she has no clue as to how all these ingredients looks and smells!

So the first step in learning the cooking process is to know what are the common ingredients required in the kitchen for preparing various dishes and familiarize with its smell and feel. The first step in this book is to show you all the ingredients that make a great employee!

The next step is to understand what must be added and in what quantity for the dish you are preparing. For example the items and quantity need to prepare Sāmbhar is different from those required to prepare chicken stew!

Similarly the competency requirements vary depending on the job, such as sales, accounting, manufacturing, R&D, etc.

Similarly how much of these items must be added to make a great dish? Generally if everything is added correctly, you get a decent dish, but what makes a great dish also depends on the sequence of adding each ingredients and variation in the cooking heat, etc. If any ingredient is not added or added extra, that becomes instantly visible. Think of a dish where no salt is put or excess salt is put. All those who have tasted that dish will only talking about the excess or absence of salt in the dish until you eat your next meal! That is exactly what happens in the job also! If you have all the requisite competencies you make a good employee but not necessarily a great employee. But if you lack a critical competency or use it in excess, all your subordinates, peers and boss will be talking about it either in front of you or on your back! And you will not make a great employee until you make corrections!

This cook book will aid you in understanding what ingredients and at what quantity and when to add to make a great employee! Like my daughter who had become an expert cook who can prepare mouth-watering dishes you can also become a great employee by understanding each of the ingredients that will help you excel in your chosen functional area. So go ahead and earn your millions!

The list of traits or competencies is given below. In the subsequent articles, we will discuss about each of them and finally help you determine which of those traits are critical for your success.

   The ABC of being a great Employee    
Ability Emotional  
Action Oriented Empathy Motivation
Adaptability Energize Negotiation
Aggressive Energy Optimistic
Ambition Enterprising Organized
Analytical Skills Enthusiasm Ownership
Approachable Entrepreneurial Passion
Arrogance Ethical Patience
Attachment Exceed Expectations Performance
Attitude Execution Perseverance
Behavior Experience planning
Candid Fairness Polite
Care Flexible Presentation skills
Character Focused Pride
Cheerful Follow Through Problem Solving
Chemistry Forgiving Professional
Commitment Friendly Punctual
Common Sense Grateful Realistic
Communication Grooming Reliability
Compassion Hard working Respectful
Competence Healthy Responsible
Composure Honesty Responsive
Confidence Humble Self Esteem
Cooperation Humor sense of urgency
Courage Initiative Sincere
Courteous Innovation Skills
Creativity Integrity Team Building
Customer Focused Intelligence Team work
Decision Making Judgment Technology skills
Decisive Judicious Thorough
Dedication Knowledge Thoughtful
Delegation Leadership Time management
Diligence Learning Trustworthy
Dependable Listening skills Understanding
Determination Logical Visionary
Discipline Loyalty Will Power
Drive Lucky Willingness
Eager Maturity Work Life Balance
Efficient Meticulous Zeal


You are also most welcome to contribute in explaining some of the traits listed above.

6 replies
  1. cheriyapayan
    cheriyapayan says:

    A wondeful reminder to be a great employee rather than a good one. The analogy to cooking is apt and thought provoking. The ABC in some description is being anticipated with eagerness especially if it can help to assist understanding regarding the pitfalls and fallacies emerging out of overuse of particular traits

  2. Shiva
    Shiva says:

    You made a right and classic example; As you said, the talent or ingredient should be at right mix. The diction of ABC listing is also very apt. Wonderful to read. Short and sweet. Have a great day, KV.

  3. Biju Komban
    Biju Komban says:

    Well explained!! For a good dish the ingredients should in a right mix :Daughter could do a good Sambar as she has got an excellent mother near, If you dont have a good shef around in your work place; May be he is taking him for a ride; the growth graph of an employee can be affected.. As he mix extra salt always the employee can repeate the mistake again and again..!!As a beginer Any particulat reading materials you Advise>>

  4. Neela
    Neela says:

    Thank you Sir! Generally all your postings give us a new direction and leads to creative thinking. The ABC of being a good employee is a good tool for me. Thank you once again!

  5. R.Sajan
    R.Sajan says:

    1. Getting a job may be easy. Survival is the issue.
    2. How to survive in a job with backstabbing colleagues and bullying bosses is what any employee should learn.
    3. The story of the philosopher and the boatman should be impressed upon all young employees. ‘Do you know swimming, Sir?’


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *