Calling All Leaders: Are High-Performers Born or Made?

Does your organization develop its star players, or simply make the most informed hires it can and hope for the best? Even though it’s common business knowledge that developing the workforce in general is the key to remaining competitive, it remains difficult to make the same claim for individuals – star players that are already pulling their own weight on the team. What do they need? If they’re doing well and are even out-performing most of their peers, why do you need to spend resources developing them? Because they will burn out if you don’t.

The path of least resistance in a high demand work environment is to lean hard on high performers and expect more from them without regard for the likelihood of burnout. Too often, the candle that burns the brightest burns for the shortest amount of time. Don’t let that happen to your best managers and leaders.

Can your peak performers see their future in the organization? Do they see how their own leadership is influencing others? Helping them refine awareness of their own role may give you just as much benefit as sending them to a training program. Knowing about Personality Style and Leadership Style – their own and those of others – can improve a leader’s positive influence, effectiveness, and team-building abilities.  With the What’s My Leadership Style? assessment, they will learn about their own tendencies in a leadership role, how they compare to other types of leaders, and how their leadership style affects each member of their teams.

Research shows that providing a road to career growth and development results in increased engagement rates and, in turn, higher productivity. Engage your high performers in the difficult conversations that will show your belief in them while encouraging them to stretch themselves as leaders. Here are some conversation starters:

  1. How do you think your team measures up to other teams? Is it more or less cohesive, more or less productive?
  2. What opportunities do you think this organization has passed up or
    ignored?
  3. How can I help you take greater ownership of this team?

Giving star players a chance to reflect on their role, challenging them to take greater personal ownership of outcomes and asking them to be honest about instances where the company may have dropped the ball on opportunity are all ways to help them develop and become an even stronger force for your organization.

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