Robert Kelley, author of How to Be A Star at Work, suggests that your “Star Employees” may already be on the paryoll. Kelley’s book (my review is on LinkedIn) speaks of his failure to find any formal assessment process that would guarantee that a company hired nothing but Stars.
He then continues by identifying the key themes that seemed to be present in many of these so-called “Stars,” the employees that always seems to get more done with less. Team members who appear to have the almost magical ability to contribute at multiple levels, sometimes simultaneously. They are always there for the company and the group, so enthusiastic and energetic for their work that you almost have to send them home. They are never “5 o’clock shadows,” may even lose track of the day of the week, and the time of the day because they are so engrossed in their work. “Hump Day” is likely not even in their vocabulary. Oh, they like their downtime, but return on the first of the week with energy and vigor to get things done. You can turn your back on these folks, confident that the work will be done well and on time. And, if you are so unfortunate as to lose one of them from your team, you have lost much more than their job description.
Here are a few of Kelley’s “breakthrough strategies you need to succeed” that are found in Stars:
Initiative – “blazing trails in the organization’s white spaces ” (one of my favorites, by the way).
Knowing Who Knows – being aware of where the specific knowledge exists in the team. All of us are smarter than any one of us. Stars know who to ask for what.
Getting the Big Picture – recognizing the importance of perspective. Remember the story of the blind men and the elephant? Each had a part of the puzzle, but it needed to be assembled to complete the picture.
Followership – “checking your email at the door to lead in assists.” This always makes me thing of Steve Nash feeding the basketball to his teammates. Not a basketball fan? Google his name.
There are nine “strategies” in total. I just gave you four of my favorites. Read the book or email me for the other five. It’s worth your time.
Here’s the good news – Virtually anyone in the organization is capable of becoming a Star, if you assist them in learning what they are best at and provide the opportunities to capitalize on their “gifts.”
If they are “Human Resources,” (and they are), work on “taking advantage” of what they have to offer!