Tuned In

wild-865296_640In the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, August 11th, someone left an old television set on the front porch of a house in Henrico County, Virginia. In fact, according to Police Lieutenant Matt Pecka, the mystery deliveryman visited 50 different houses that night, leaving TV sets outside the door of each one. Nothing was stolen or disturbed, and no foul play is suspected.

Who made the late-night deliveries? Why did they come by? And why leave an old TV as a calling card? Some recipients took to their smart doorbells for answers, but found only more questions. Footage shows a man dressed in “a blue jumpsuit, brown boots, black gloves, and a big mask shaped like an old TV set.” He walks up to each house, sets a TV down, and leaves.

We can’t always explain why someone acts the way they do, and we’ve all witnessed behavior from a colleague that leaves us shaking our heads. But people are an inescapable part of any business. Without people, and their desirable behavioral traits, things simply wouldn’t get done. That’s why Forbes magazine recently published a list of 15 behaviors that make people virtually “irreplaceable in the workplace.

  1. They do more than asked.
  2. They have exceptional communication skills.
  3. They are one step ahead instead of behind.
  4. They are good listeners and observers.
  5. They are trustworthy, accountable, and reliable.
  6. They initiate.
  7. They fill the room with good energy.
  8. They are adaptable.
  9. They are problem solvers, not complainers.
  10. They are self-motivated and can motivate others.
  11. They don’t need to be micromanaged.
  12. They embrace new challenges.
  13. They are fast learners and fast thinkers.
  14. They love their job.
  15. They are well organized and efficient.

Think about the members of your team. Are they tuned in? How many of these behaviors do they exhibit on a regular basis? Odds are, the ones you most want to be around have a lot of check marks on this list. These are all traits I want to see from the people I work with.

Behavior is the outward manifestation of character. Despite what people say and all the good intentions in the world, behavior is what other people see. It’s what determines real outcomes. It’s what matters.

Now look at the list again. If a coworker was asked to describe you, how many of these sentences would they use? Or are there other, less desirable traits that would make your list? Perhaps we all have a little work to do.

Lieutenant Pecka said authorities determined that Henrico County’s TV Santa Claus posed no credible threat. While confusing and inconvenient, the television deliveries aren’t something law enforcement is concerned about. Some residents aren’t so sure about the motives behind the act; though unless the mystery man comes forward, there will likely be no explanation for his strange and unwelcome behavior. County officials plan to collect and recycle the unexpected gifts.