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Shifting the Performance Curve

     When we encounter true talent – the musical prodigy, the athletic wunderkind, the business genius – we are awed.  How do they do it?  We think to ourselves – “If only I had been born with those gifts, I would be a star too.”

     We all labor under the assumption that there is a defined, limited supply of talent (innate ability) and that only a few have what it takes to become true stars in their professions. While this assumption may hold some validity for superstar entertainers and Olympic level athletes, the flaws of applying such a generalized assumption to the workplace are easy to identify.

     For example, most of us still buy into the assumption that our organization’s success is wholly dependent on how many high performing “stars” we are able to hire and retain. We search frantically for these extraordinary individuals (i.e. the so called “war for talent”) and rely on the “star” performers to perhaps even make up for all the average performers.

     So, let’s assume you have agreed to stand back from your assumptions long enough to test out a new assumption? What if we tested the assumption that an organization’s ‘talent curve’ does not predetermine their ‘performance curve’?  In other words, what if we told you that it is possible to “clone” the results of your star performers without “cloning” or replicating the star performer’s innate talent and ability profile?

The Real Value of Star Performers

     If you take a moment think about the individuals who work in your organization, you can likely call out a few star performers who consistently produce higher results. They are easy to spot and are usually the ones who tackle each day and its opportunities and challenges with consistent energy and engagement. In your role as a leader, you appreciate star performers because they not only make your job easier but they provide significant returns to your organization.

     In sales organizations, it is common for performers in the top 10 percent to generate 30-50 percent or more of the revenue. In software engineering, the top programmers often write 10 times the amount of code as do average performers. How large is the gap between the results of your star performers and the results of solid but average performers? If you measured it, the difference is likely astounding. What if you were able to move even a small percentage of these average performers to star status?  The results for your company could be game changing!

     To learn more about exemplary performance and how you can identify star performers in your organization, join us on Wednesday, April 17th at 12:00 p.m. EDT for an informative event and a live chat session on this provocative topic.  To register, please click here. We look forward to seeing you there!

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