The Definitive Guide to Business

Mark Cuban says top employees share this key characteristic

Mark Cuban speaks onstage during the THRIVE with Arianna Huffington panel at The Town Hall during 2016 Advertising Week New York on September 28, 2016 in New York City.
Slaven Vlasic | Getty Image
Mark Cuban speaks onstage during the THRIVE with Arianna Huffington panel at The Town Hall during 2016 Advertising Week New York on September 28, 2016 in New York City.

Mark Cuban knows how to keep himself busy. The billionaire is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, a serial entrepreneur and a longtime investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

With so much on his plate, it’s no wonder that the businessman values employees who can take some of the pressure off of him.

“The people that tend to work for me a long time, not only are smart, not only are driven, not only are learners,” he tells Money, “but they understand that the greatest value you can offer a boss is to reduce their stress.”

Cuban’s emphasis on stress reduction is not unfounded. Research shows that stress has a serious impact on productivity and job performance and it's estimated to cost American businesses up to $300 billion a year.

Stressed workers are also more likely to make errors, arrive to work late and miss deadlines. Plus, they can spread their stressful feelings to co-workers.

With all this in mind, it makes sense that Cuban seeks employees who can make his life easier and alleviate some of that day-to-day tension.

“Anybody who reduces my stress becomes invaluable to me,” he says. “I never want to get rid of them.”

He adds that the employees who “tend to think that they are invaluable are typically the ones who create the most stress, by creating firestorms and creating drama and making things more difficult for me.”

To win over your boss and show that you’re a valuable employee, Cuban suggests following the three Ws: Always communicate what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and when it will be done.

Fellow businessman and one of the U.K.’s most successful entrepreneurs James Caan shares his own insight on impressing your boss. Like Cuban, he says that you must be willing to go above and beyond your job description and show some initiative.

“There is nothing worse for a manager than having to hold people's hands and do all their thinking for them,” says Caan, who founded the private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw and previously hosted CNBC’s “The Business Class.

Also have an opinion and offer constructive feedback when the situation demands it, he adds.

Cuban learned the importance of keeping a low-stress work environment early in his career. During an episode of "The Jamie Weinstein Show" podcast, Cuban admits that he used to be a yeller, which created a stressful workplace and negatively impacted his business success.

"When you increase stress — the people around you, productivity, profitability, competitiveness — decline,” he says on the podcast.

Summing up his philosophy for Money, the billionaire offers employees this simple piece of advice: “If you are a stress reducer, you’re going to do well. If you’re a drama creator, you’re not going to do well.”

Disclaimer: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."

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