Managing Superstars (answer posted by me on Linkedin :27.2.2008)

Terrence Seamon
Facilitating Change – Achieving Results
Managing Superstars
Do you have any superstars working for you? What makes them “superstars?” What, if anything, do you do differently when it comes to managing them? Why?
My Answer :

Hi Terrence,

Superstars are those employees who have the drive, determination, passion, and energy needed to move huge projects forward. But they’re not like other employees. You need to lead them differently if you want to take advantage of all they have to offer. You also need to watch out for characteristic quirks that can undermine their success: They sometimes set unrealistic expectations, work insane hours, and take risks to succeed at any cost. Without some savvy supervision, many can lose perspective and become obsessed, dysfunctional, and ultimately unable to perform.
Step 1 – Understand their personality type : in order to get the best out of them.

2.Lead them by Inspiring them and never by Commanding.
Involve them in making decisions and planning whenever possible.Provide them constant EMOTIONAL COACHING :praise them for the work done well.Though they pretend to ignore the pat on their back,they definately know their worth and won`t` respect you if you don`t acknowledge their contributions.

3. Tap on their creativity:To keep superstars from getting bored, managers need to create an atmosphere in which the employees can explore their own ideas.
Google, for instance, allows employees to spend 20 percent of their time each week on pet projects — which may or may not turn out to be profitable for the company.

“As a manager, you need to keep an open mind,” says Don Kosak, chief technology officer at search engine Lycos. “Remain receptive to new ideas because many times your overachievers will take problems and come up with solutions you never anticipated.”

4.One way to keep superstars happy is to determine their long-term goals, figure out ways to tie those into current assignments, and find projects that make them shine. During weekly team meetings, Pfizer’s Kern keeps staffers focused and interested in tasks at hand by associating the current project with their long-term career goals. Kern also holds periodic “folder reviews” with individuals who overachieve, using the time to coach the overachiever and talk about his or her career goals.

4.Make it known to them that it is safe to fail:Let them know that failure isin`t the end of the world.

5.Teach them to be Team Players:this is difficult but important…. Superstars aren’t perfect at everything they do — most usually they have an area of great strength that overshadows another area of weakness. By pairing people well, you help them overcome those weaknesses. Even mavericks who like working solo will notice that their work improves with the right match.

Develop a coaching culture. One method to get a superstar to participate in a group setting is to ask him or her to mentor or coach another employee and provide ongoing feedback.

IBM’s Top Talent Mentoring Program provides one-on-one coaching for employees who demonstrate the potential to become leaders. The company pairs a manager or executive within the company with an employee to learn their goals and identify opportunities for advancement. Then the executive provides regular feedback to help fine-tune skills such as leadership style.

Thanks for the wonderful question.



Author: Shalini Verma

Hi ! I am Shalini Verma and I help people to Achieve continuous inspiration and success , aid them to FREE energy from patterns and programmes that no longer serve them , partner with them to CREATE energy by putting into place regular work and life practices that are inspiring and sustaining and to MOBILIZE energy by taking intentional action into new oppurtunities and adventures . If you are ready to make inspiration and success your daily reality......then we are ready to go !

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