Are Your Superstars Getting You Down?

As a boss, it’s challenging to manage high performers. Most of these superstars know they know their stuff and can produce more than 3x that of other employees. Since they believe others are less knowledgeable and less capable than they are, it sometimes taxes them to listen to others. Even their boss!

If they’re causing you sleepless nights, most likely you aren’t the only one. As their boss, it’s up to you to manage them and their egos, to keep them engaged and growing with your company.

Depth and breadth of experience. We falsely believe that if a top producer does well in one area, s/he will do superbly in other areas, too. Provide them with challenges — not to be confused with busy work, which they are quick to spot and resent. Assign them as a team member in different groups to develop new systems and products. Also, encourage their membership in trade and other professional groups to expand their awareness of industry challenges.

Fail forward. Superstars hate failure and need to learn these inevitable and invaluable lessons. Start by having them assess what worked and didn’t work on a project. This will build insights for future ventures.

Expect good people skills. We often overlook our superstars’ interpersonal skills, even when we see others running from them. When we step into a dispute to resolve it for them, it creates more animosity between the superstar and their co-workers (or clients). Instead, expect them to work it out themselves and learn how to work with and through others to get the job done.

Coaching is essential. Every successful star, in every professional pursuit, has a coach.Provide your top talent an internal mentor and external coach to help them develop their business acumen. Use qualified assessments to help them broaden their skills, particularly in people and project management by including a 360-degree feedback system.

Money is NOT a motivator. While your top producers may demand more and more money, higher salaries will not provide the incentives necessary for them to continue to excel, or stay. Find other ways of compensating them based upon results (e.g., perks, vacations, gift certificates, etc.).

Jeannette Seibly has been an international business and executive coach for over 20 years. She has guided the creation of three millionaires. Are you the next one?

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010-2015

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