Think Like an Editor blog by Steve Davis and Emilie Davis, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Distinguish yourself: Three key qualities

By · Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Curiosity. Energy. Persistence.

These are the most important qualities, some would say, for any journalist. They emerge this weekend in a short Q and A in The New York Times about Aaron Levie, CEO of Box.net, a company that specializes in online file storage. In the Corner Office feature, Levie is talking about the qualities he looks for when he’s hiring. There are also some great thoughts here about managing and leading in a competitive and changing and innovative environment. … Sounds like a newsroom.

I like to look elsewhere for lessons about what we do — and often come across gems like this one. It’s affirming and even inspiring to see that the qualities that make us good are universal.

You might think if these qualities are so obvious and so universal, each of us would “carry” them in equal measure. Clearly, we do not.

Being persistent, energetic and curious is a decision you make. A choice.

You might be surprised to find how many colleagues don’t demonstrate any of these, or only some of these. I don’t say this as a downer, but as inspiration. It’s easy to set yourself apart in the newsroom — if you decide to make that your choice.

Steve Davis

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