Why is that we spend more time with our poor performers than our star performers? Are we operating off the adage “if it ain’t broken, why fix it” or are we forgetting “people do what they get paid attention to for doing”?
Star performers are usually highly internally motivated and complain the most about things like paperwork, administrative follow up and slow systems that get in their way. How can you as the leader, stay out of the way of the star performer and make sure that they continue to get what they need to thrive and grow? Here are three ways to stay out of their way:
If you have a stellar sales person, for example, chances are you’ve noticed they struggle with paperwork. They may even have a hard time organizing their way out of a paper bag with a map and a compass, but this is often how they operate. They’re very good with people, not so good with paperwork. Rather than trying to change that, embrace it. Give them the support personnel or systems they need to lean on to get the paperwork done and let them do what they do best.
Those that out-perform others on that team you have the privilege of leading need to know where the ditches are. They need to know how far they can push, how deep a discount can they give, and how much initiative they can take. Without these clear boundaries they may run headlong in the direction you wish they wouldn’t go, using their own initiative to make things happen. If you consistently fuss at them or leave them feeling “in trouble” for doing what comes naturally, you will train them how to treat you. This might mean you train them to hold back on their initiative for fear of getting in trouble or doing something wrong and this will negatively impact their performance and slow down their momentum.
Star performers are often motivated by appreciation and accomplishment. Recognize their efforts and defend their behaviors, obviously to a point. If you’ve given them a goal and they go after it aggressively, they may be of the mind set that “some will, some won’t, so what and next”. If that is the case, they may step on some toes or move quickly through a list of leads with lesser regard for how those who said “no” feel. Be prepared to back them up by stepping in to smooth the relationship that may not have been a yes, right now and teach the star performer how to hand off a potential lead for later, that may not have said yes, now.
Sales training and skill development often involves increasing the confidence and communication of those who are your top performers. It also involves teaching the leaders of those star performers how to motivate, support, encourage and stay out of the way of those who dive in and get it done. For more information on Contagious Confidence, Contagious Communication, and Contagious Leadership programs, go to www.ContagiousCompanies.com where all three are addressed and provided.
Your top performers need your support, clear boundaries, recognition, and for you to stay out of their way. Don’t let go of your role as the leader, but do provide them the ability to lead their own actions. That’s part of what got them to be the star performers you celebrate now.
Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!