Has a lot of book-knowledge about the field: they cared enough to study up on it even before they started getting field experience.
Grasps core concepts more quickly than even more experienced peers. (It would be nice to have an example of what he means).
Puts in extra time. Sometimes, pure effort and personal energy is the sole differentiating factor in performance.
Cares about small, key details. Exceptional performers care about details that others ignore. (Comment: Smart people don't get caught up in irrelevant details. How do you tell the difference?).
Has a lot of good ideas on how things can be improved. Good ideas, not just ideas.
Easily identifies other experts around them and pays attention to them (either actively or quietly) looking for top-performing role models for examples of how to grow.
- They are curious