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Touching Top Talent

Illustration of French grenadier on horseback

Smart leaders realize that almost every business is at heart a people business.

Success very often depends on finding a couple of top 1% performers and facilitating their success, primarily by staying out of their way and allowing them to win.

You don’t need a whole team of All Stars. Usually a few, if they are well-placed and complement each other, are enough to carry you to victory.

Recognizing a star is subjective. When you meet one you just know it. I can suggest a few indicators, although none of them are fool-proof.

Stars

  • Show up on time and ready to go
  • Ask the right questions
  • Are evaluating you and your company at the same time that they are being assessed
  • Focus on the work itself
  • Are able to see the enterprise as a whole as well as their own place within that big picture
  • Are polite, direct, crisp and don’t waste time
  • Actually answer your questions
  • Evince a rare mix of pride and humility
  • Balance the “we” and the “I” factors nicely
  • Can talk about their failures openly and analyze them objectively
  • Show that they have grown up both professionally and personally
  • Stay on topic
  • Don’t get rattled by minor issues
  • Know what is important

This article was originally posted to LinkedIn