Friday, January 7, 2011


Following up on my article from the other day, I want to talk about the top 10% of your employees. You know,  The Go-getters, "Golden Boy/girl", top performers and your future leaders. I know that I talked about patience and mentoring of your people and not to have the same expectations for them that you have of yourself. There are exceptions to every rule.

Orlando Ruso / Photoexpress
The way we can develop and empower the top 10% of your people is not necessary the same as you do for the rest of your people. Let me explain, these people are cut from a different cloth then the rest of your people. I'm not going into all the factors that make them top performers. I just want to focus on how we can get all their potential out. Here are some of the ways of extracting their performance gold:

1.     Delegate to them: Once you've identified that they are a rising star, delegate some task that has more importance then the everyday task. Keep in mind that you still maintain responsibility for it, but you are giving them the reins to let them run with it. Giving them empowerment.

2.     Give them trust: Give them a lot of trust, let them see that you believe in them, don't micromanage the project for them or continually look over their shoulder. Let them know that you are there if they need you, otherwise stay out of the way and see what they can produce.

3.     Point them out: Let everyone else see and know that their work ethic and attitude is what you are looking for. Let them be a role model and/or mentor some of the younger, junior staff. I'm not saying play favorites with them; I'm saying acknowledge their abilities to step-up and go above their job description.

4.     Raise the bar: Overachievers are competitive by nature, so give them a higher goal to shoot for. Challenging them will get them to push harder and extract their performance gold by pressure. In the process it will let them and you see where their weaknesses are, so you can mentor to them.

5.     Continually raise the bar of expectation and responsibilities. As they are successful, keep adding to it, find out where their walls are and keep them from settling for where they are. Keep them hungry and reward their efforts whenever possible.

6.   Expose them to superiors: Give them the opportunity to give a presentation, brief, results or just sit in on a management meeting. Exposing them to how things work at the management level will help them to better prepare for their opportunity and understand your mentoring better. Additionally, allows those that are above them to see what all the hype is about. 

This is not an extensive list, I’m sure there are those of you who have things to add to this list. So, please do.

What have you done to extract performance gold from your top performers? Please leave comments, (top of page) with your answers, I love hearing from you. It helps me grow as well. 

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