How to Move Your Goods to Greats

Our previous post, “Leaders, Focus on Moving Your Middle – Play Offense, Not Defense”, emphasized the importance of focusing on moving your middle majority to high performers.

But how do you do that?  How do you get your good players, or your B players, to become A players?

They all can’t be converted, but those who have usually have a leader that:

1. Sets high expectations.   This comes in the form of setting challenging goals and holding people accountable to them.

2. After high expectations are set, the leader then provides Assurance and Confidence.  This involves saying things like,  “I know we’ve set challenging goals, but I know you are capable of achieving what we’ve set out to do.  This is why I’ve given you responsibility to do this.”

3. Finally, Direction and Support is provided. This involves:

  • Being approachable and available when needed.
  • Providing stretch assignments to help the individual grow.
  • Creating exposure to risks and failure. As a leader, you should expect failure and help people be comfortable with it coming.  This could include asking people when you meet with them regularly about how they failed during the week.  This shows you expect it and you want to know what was learned from it.

When a leader can successfully set high expectations, provide assurance and confidence as well as direction and support, it leads to increased self-awareness for an individual.

This then allows for authenticity to be shaped through hard work, determination and challenging assignments.

Finally, and most importantly, you’ve then done what leadership is all about.  You’ve modeled how leaders create more leaders – completing the full circle of equipping someone else to move others (not just themselves) from good to great.

How do you grow people to become star performers?

Mary Ila Ward

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