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By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Deborah Shane Coming from a mentoring, teaching and training background for 20 plus years has helped me to understand how certain qualities make champions! There are 12 common qualities I believe underlie “peak performers” or champions in any field, industry, business, or just personally! I love to study champions. We mostly identify with sports people and teams: Lance Armstrong, Pete Sampras, New York Yankees, Detroit Red Wings, New England Patriots, University of Florida, Babe Ruth. But, let’s not forget about other champions who champion causes: Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy, Rosa Parks and tireless other “silent heroes” that change people’s lives daily by what they do under the radar. What is a champion? By definition, a Remarkable Person - somebody who exemplifies excellence or achievement; Defender - somebody who defends, supports, or promotes a person or cause because they are “passionate” about it. It can be anyone, it can be you. Character is an attitude... “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves , some turn up their noses and some don’t turn up at all.” (Sam Ewing) The process it takes to become a champion includes solid fundamentals, a dedication to discipline, a willingness to practice, a lot of heart, a little luck and perseverance. All great teams and athletes commit to this process and because they are “in it” daily, they succeed and win. This same process is how anyone can become a champion, or champion a cause. Enjoying this article? You could get the best career advice daily by subscribing to us via e-mail. Here are 12 principles that can make you or anyone a champion. Are you ready? 1. Personal and Professional Integrity 2. Industry and Product Knowledge 3. Sincerity of Motive and Intent 4. Enthusiasm for Life 5. Passion for what you do and who you are 6. A dedication to Excellence 7. Commitment to Discipline 8. The Perseverance to keep growing and learning 9. Willingness to embrace new ideas 10. Openness to Change 11. A healthy and active Sense of Humor 12. Awesome Attitude Opportunities to stand out, make a difference and truly impact people, the community and world you live and work in is boundless. Become a champion and champion something today, NOW. Small things can make a BIG difference. They add up over time. Are you ready to champion your life and business and become the champion you are destined to be? Did you enjoy this article? Read more articles by this expert here. CAREEREALISM Expert, Deborah Shane delivers business education and professional skill development specializing in women in business, those in career transition, sales and personal and social brand strategy and integration. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn. The photo for this article is provided by Shutterstock.
Learn how to land a career you love

Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.

All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.