03/07/2012 10:19 am ET Updated May 07, 2012

Employee Engagement Survey @ Apple -- Psych!

Another insight into what it takes to create a company worth $500 billion comes from Adam Lashinsky's new book, Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired - and Secretive - Company Really Works. It is a truly investigative work -- given the title -- worthy of any Kremlin watcher during the Cold War.

Here's my key take away and something for you to consider. I would be shocked if Apple uses an employee engagement survey to find out how employees feel about working at the company and for good reason. They believe all serve the company -- from Tim Cook all the way down and through the organization. And it's worthy of devoting one's full measure.

The crowning value of an organization is its ability to harness the singular energies and talents of individuals and convert the collective effort into an exponential wealth-producing enterprise. Witness $500 billion.

So back to employee engagement surveys. Next time you are on the receiving end of a 12-question form, don't be seduced into thinking your company owes you something, that you should wait for someone to give you feedback, clarify expectations, or praise your effort. Take ownership of your work and contribution to the company. Ask yourself these 12 questions to tell you whether you are truly (and fearlessly) "raising your game."

  1. Have I proactively clarified what is expected of me at work?
  2. Have I pursued finding the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
  3. Have I spoken my mind in the past month?
  4. In the last seven days, have I stretched myself to go above and beyond what I am capable of?
  5. Has someone been in my face recently, telling me I'm not living up to my full potential?
  6. Do I have a clear picture in my mind of where I want my career to head?
  7. At work, do I make my opinions relevant to the business?
  8. Is the work expected of me intense, challenging, and intimidating -- and the most fulfilling experience in my life?
  9. Do I provide feedback to co-workers regarding the quality of their work?
  10. Am I honest with my co-workers about who I am?
  11. In the last six months, did I proactively have discussions with my manager and/or peers about my progress?
  12. This last year, did I create opportunities for myself at work to learn and grow?