Why High Achievers Are Managed Different

Teamwork doesn’t always work.  It does sometimes, but when it doesn’t, it’s because…
#1: Someone on the team won’t always work. Someone slacks off and lets the others run the show.
#2: High achievers won’t be treated like any other member of the team.  They demand more attention and rewards.

Look at the Minnesota Vikings professional football team.  This is a team in trouble.  Their star quarterback quit football for the last two seasons in February, then un-retired several weeks into training camp…and was immediately given the starting job. Could anyone else on the team do this?  Could anyone else in football do this?

Brett Favre has been injured, taken off the field in pain, thrown more interceptions than the back-up at his position in just the past three weeks, but he still can start anytime he wants to.  You don’t manage him like the rest, or he quits to find somewhere else he is wanted more (New York Jets, are you reading this?).  Meanwhile, the owners and general managers sit in the skybox.

Randy Moss, is acquired in a trade from New England because he isn’t happy with the lack of attention he gets from the Patriots’ QB and offensive coordinators.  He goes to Minnesota where he, to his surprise, isn’t the featured show.  The injured, “I can start and play anytime I want to” QB is the show.  Randy is released. Oh, and the Vikings still aren’t winning many games.  And the skybox is still occupied.

If you can’t manage a high achiever, or a whole corral of them, is it any wonder you aren’t “winning?”  If you lack the skills to manage the top performers, it isn’t their fault.  It’s yours.

Maybe the people who should be shipped out aren’t the players on the field, but the managers in the sky box.  If you are in your organization’s “skybox,” what are you doing to manage the top performers different?

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