You rely on all sorts of handy metrics and guidance benchmarks to ensure you stay focused, productive, and right on time as both a team member and a leader. You’ve got your budget spreadsheet, your snapshot of sales, margins, and revenues, and performance reports and marketing targets.
But as you understand so well, people are the most valuable resource. Identifying high potentials is not always easy, but you can make that talent scouting task a lot simpler by using a ranking and rating system. Develop your own personal ranking and rating system and it will vastly improve your team recruiting, designing, and development capability.
Rank people by more than just their performance numbers. Imagine that you are being promoted, for instance, and ask yourself which members of your team you want to bring along with you, and why. Identify the qualities that make them indispensible and irreplaceable team assets.
Take into account their review objectives, management skills, attitude, team relations, support of you, level of engagement, and other traits that make them your top picks for your next big project, endeavor, and adventure.
If you rank them low to high and then put those ratings on a graph, you’ll likely wind up with a bell curve – with most of graph populated in the middle, clustered around average performance traits. That’s because leaders tend to distribute their energy in ways that don’t do enough to develop the high potentials and move them up the scale.
Instead, we find ourselves forced to devote lots of time to the underperformers – those you might classify as C-minus and D. You can gain more by concentrating on lifting up the C-plus and B players, to convert them to the A and A-plus level. Do that and you’ll have a superior team worth keeping and developing as you yourself move up the leadership ladder.
But because of the time-wasters and underachievers you wind up saddled with mediocrity. That doesn’t just impede the team as a whole but it also keeps your best players from reaching their full potential. Keep in mind that you are one of those best players! Those who aren’t making beneficial contributions drag down the rest, and are killing your team.
As you use your rating tool, it will reveal strengths and weaknesses that you can proactively address. You’ll need to ask questions and find solutions. How can you get them more engaged? How can you coach them and guide them upward? Are there ways to give them more autonomy and responsibility, so that you can test how well they think for themselves? Are there team members who need to be moved into a position that will give them a broader and less self-centric perspective?
Developing great teams is hard work, but it delivers a huge return. If you design synergistic teams that are highly effective it will boost performance and that WILL lead to your PREDICTABLE PROMOTION. So you will need to know which people to keep as your core team as your career accelerates upward.
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.
Blog, Ezine & Website: www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS