Fueling the Fire of Your Star Performers

Comments (8)

by Carole Nicolaides Copyright 2002

Mary was a successful senior executive working for a large insurance company. She was the person that you wanted to have when things did not go well. Everybody loved her for her enthusiasm, never-ending motivation and her vision of taking the organization to the next level. About one year after this bright star was brought in and produced so well she started getting bored. She was quite the character, so with her humor and high spirits she was able to mask her unhappiness.

When she accepted an offer at another firm nobody could believe it. Her boss did not understand her reasons, her team was disappointed, and her peers simply didn't get it.

So, what could have prevented this situation? What could the company have done to prevent this star performer's departure?

Don't Take Them For Granted

Don't sit too comfortably just because the employment market is tight. High performers find their way to new organizations even in a recession. If they are bored, unchallenged, or simply not passionate about where their work, they will find a solution.

Face Reality - Your High Performers Are Different

High performers are usually people who need a different form of motivation in order to stay passionate about their jobs. For them, self-motivation is an innate thing. It is the fuel for their success. They do not need you in that department. They do need you to feed the fire.

Understand Their Motivational and Values Profile

What exactly feeds the fire? That could be different for each over-achiever you employ. It is not just money or power or leaving a legacy that excites them. Finding out the primary motivators and the values that they need to have in their workplace is an incredibly cheap investment in comparison to losing invaluable employees.

There are several assessment tools in the market. All of them, in one way or another, promise the same things. The key is for you to be able to interpret their results so you can manage your high performers accordingly.

DISC is a popular assessment tool that does an incredible job in explaining, in plain English, what might motivate your high performers. Assessments are not the answer for deciphering the primary motivators of your high performers but they are definitely a great way to help you feed the fire.

Coach Them On What's Next

Stars thrive on executing results. Seldom do they sit down and reflect on the things that "just happen." Their visionary thinking is important for your company, but their reflection is equally important. Be patient, encourage self-reflection, show them that you care for them and you want to know how they feel. Encourage genuine dialogues, connect with them on a personal level, and let them rely on you for your partnership.

Encourage Input and Participation

Star performers are not likely to sit quietly and do as they're told. They want to be in the limelight. They want to make decisions. They want to shine. Be sure to create an environment where they can do just that.

Ask for opinions, investigate options they offer, and involve them in as many areas as you can. Then... take the time to recognize them. After all, what good does it do for a star to shine all by itself? Stars love to shine where all can see!

There is no doubt... maintaining the passion of your high performers is a very active game. There is no one solution that will help you do this. It bears a lot of responsibility, a lot of active gestures and a lot of passion on your own. You must believe in them, you must be proud that they are working for you, you must give them due recognition, and you must let them know that you are sure you've made the right decision in bringing them on board.

About the Author

Carole is President and Executive Coach of Progressive Leadership, offering business coaching and leadership training to business owners & leaders around the world. Improve your business relationships, communication, team performance and bottom line starting now. Visit http://www.progressiveleadership.com for more info & subscribe to Carole's FREE Ezine.


John Doe 01.05.2012. 21:50

Why are the Black and White Miami Heat jerseys called the "New World Order" jerseys? why are they called new world order jerseys? anyone?

John Doe

Admin 01.05.2012. 21:50

Apparantly, this started with Bleacher Report in August 2010:

This summer the Miami Heat became the most hated team in sports. With Lebron James and Chris Bosh teaming up with Dwayne Wade this will be a dominant team for many years to come. I am comparing the Miami Heat to the infamous WCW wrestling group the New World Order. The NWO was the most hated group in wrestling, because they had the best of the best. Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Macho Man Randy Savage were just a few big names that were apart of the New World Order. Eric Bischoff was the brains behind the madness and they were unstoppable. They raised hell and dominated like no other.

"Hollywood" Hulk Hogan broke many fans hearts when he turned into the bad guy. This situation is similar to Lebron in Cleveland. Lebron was everything to Cleveland and they praised him like he was a God. Lebron leg dropped the city of Cleveland this past July on national television and became an instant villain. From the burning of the jerseys to Dan Gilbert's "Cry me a River" letter. Lebron was looked at in a negative manner for the first time ever. NBA greats such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Charles Barkley all criticized James for the decision he made. Wait a minute! Didn't Charles Barkley go to Houston to team up with The Dream and Clyde the Glide? Magic played with stars such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Bob McAdoo, and defensive specialist Michael Cooper. Michael Jordan didn?t win a title until Scottie Pippen became an All-NBA performer.

Lebron may have taken this process out of control, but he was tired of playing with D-list players. Lebron played with mediocre talent in Cleveland and had a puppet for a head coach. It is rare to see a player of this magnitude take a pay cut and show that he is willing to sacrifice anything to win championships. In this era of spoiled athletes this was something that caught everyone off guard. Yes Lebron talks in third person, he may wear sunglasses inside of buildings, and calls himself the King, but this is the persona that the media helped to create.

After the Miami Thrice was assembled Dwayne Wade stated that the Heat will sell out every game this season and the other organizations can thank them for selling out their venues. The New World Order packed every arena on Monday night fans hated them, but were willing to pay anything to see them in person. This will be something that the NBA hasn't seen in a long time. Everyone is praying for the Heat's downfall, but all of the hate is just adding fuel to the fire. Chris Bosh was called out by Jerry Colangelo questioning his heart while playing for Toronto. I can go on for days about the negative comments made during this whole process.

Many people are in denial about the success the Miami Heat can achieve. Pat Riley was the brains behind this team as Eric Bischoff was the brains behind the New World Order. This experiment in Miami will be failure if multiple championships are not achieved. Unlike the NWO the Miami Heat will not spray paint the Larry O'Brien trophy as "Hollywood" Hogan did with the World Championship Wrestling Title. This is the beginning of the NBA's version of the New World Order. Fasten your seat belts, because this will be an amazing ride.


Naruto The Avenger 10.05.2012. 14:34

Which year of "world wrestling entertainment"(WWE) made u feel its 'worst wrestling entertainment'? WQ's:)!? I know the question is kinda weird but my point is which year made you feel that wwe is getting really boring i have to quite it!
#what made u feel like that?
WQ: at present which Wwe superstar would you see getting released by 'WWE' at the end of year 2o12?
WQ: whats the purpose of squash match's?
Wwe writers know that ppl really hate squash matchs! But why do they have squash matchs.
*star if u found it intersting;)

Naruto The Avenger

Admin 10.05.2012. 14:34

For me the worst year ever for WWE is 2010.

I really hated that year. That year WWE was nothing, but an all time downfall. 2009 was a pretty average year, but 2010 was far worse. That year Shawn Michaels finally retiring for good, nobody stopped the show on Raw every week like Shawn Michaels usually did. WWE finally lost its greatest in ring performer. That year The Undertaker was also wrestling for only 3 months after Wrestlemania and being put in one of the worst feud in a long time against Kane. WWE also forced Bret Hart who can't wrestle anymore to wrestle against Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania and later against The Miz on Raw. This is no disrespect to Bret Hart, but that's for sure tarnished his legacy. He went from being "The Excellence Of Execution" into "The MasterMind of Dirty Fighting and Handicap Matches". Also Triple H was out that entire year, he only wrestled the first four months. WWE also lost Batista, one of their biggest star in recent years. Chris Jericho was also out in the tenth month of that year.

WWE also did The Nexus vs WWE angle which to me didn't live up to the hype. Also the ridilicious John Cena getting fired storyline.

WWE also had guys such as Jack Swagger as World Champion which already showed how ridilicious WWE was that year. For me, this year is the worst ever.

2011 is even worse than 2010, but the last half months of 2011 pretty much saved WWE. CM Punk's rebel angle in June 2011 and later the beginning of Reality Era made everything interesting again. Also the return of The Rock added more fuel. 2012 things get better and better now. WWE no longer shoved John Cena and Randy Orton to our throats.

WQ : The Great Khali. I don't think WWE would want to use him anymore starting 2013. He's getting older and can't do much more.

WQ : To make the wrestler who squashed his opponents look dominant and can move up the ranks to later facing bigger challenge and finally the top dogs. It's usually done on free TV. It would be such a waste to have big matches on free TV, therefore matches on free TV should be used to build up the PPV match and thus by having squash matches would make that guy look more dominant going into his PPV match.


Lilly 19.08.2008. 16:00

So, what (if any) emotion does this evoke in you? yes, us people are just poems
we're 90% metaphor, with a leanness of meaning
approaching hyper-distillation
and once upon a time
we were moonshine, rushing down the throat of a giraffe
yes, rushing down the long hallway
despite what the p.a. announcement says
yes, rushing down the long stairs
with the whiskey of eternity, fermented and distilled
burning down our throats
down the hall
down the stairs
in a building so tall, that it will always be there
yes, it's part of a pair there on the bow of noah's ark
the most prestigious couple
just kickin back parked
against a perfectly blue sky
on a morning beatific in its indian summer breeze
on the day that america
fell to its knees, after strutting around for a century
without saying thank you
or please
and the shock was subsonic, and the smoke was deafening
between the setup and the punch line
cuz we were all on time for work that day
we all boarded that plane for to fly
and then while the fires were raging
we all climbed up on the windowsill
and then we all held hands
and jumped into the sky
and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed
and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar
looked more like war than anything i've seen so far
so fierce and ingenious
a poetic specter so far gone
that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling
over 'oh my god' and 'this is unbelievable' and on and on
and i'll tell you what, while we're at it
you can keep the pentagon, keep the propaganda
keep each and every tv, that's been trying to convince me
to participate
in some prep school punk's plan to perpetuate retribution
even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution
is still hanging in the air
and there's ash on our shoes
and there's ash in our hair
and there's a fine silt on every mantle
from hell's kitchen to brooklyn
and the streets are full of stories, sudden twists and near misses
and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters
with tales of narrowly averted disasters
and the whiskey is flowin
like never before
as all over the country
folks just shake their heads, and pour

so here's a toast to all the folks who live in palestine

el salvador

here's a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation
under the stone cold gaze of mt. rushmore

here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors
who daily provide women with a choice
who stand down a threat the size of oklahoma city
just to listen to a young woman's voice

here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now
awaiting the executioner's guillotine
who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads
to find peace in the form of a dream

cuz take away our playstations
and we are a third world nation
under the thumb of some blue blood royal son
who stole the oval office and that phony election
i mean
it don't take a weatherman
to look around and see the weather
jeb said he'd deliver florida, folks
and boy did he ever

and we hold these truths to be self evident:
#1 george w. bush is not president
#2 america is not a true democracy
#3 the media is not fooling me
cuz i am a poem heeding hyper-distillation
i've got no room for a lie so verbose
i'm looking out over my whole human family
and i'm raising my glass in a toast

here's to our last drink of fossil fuels
let us vow to get off of this sauce
shoo away the swarms of commuter planes
and find that train ticket we lost
cuz once upon a time the line followed the river
and peeked into all the backyards, and the laundry was waving
the graffiti was teasing us
from brick walls and bridges
we were rolling over ridges ,through valleys
under stars
i dream of touring like duke ellington
in my own railroad car
i dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches, in a grand station aglow with grace
and then standing out on the platform
and feeling the air on my face
give back the night its distant whistle
give the darkness back its soul
give the big oil companies the finger finally
and relearn how to rock-n-roll
yes, the lessons are all around us and a change is waiting there
so it's time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets
and clear the air
get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand
of someone else's desert
put it back in its pants, and quit the hypocritical chants of
freedom forever : )


Admin 19.08.2008. 16:00

This is a spoken word piece written by Ani Difranco, look for it on Utube, she is one of my favorite performers, a little surprised more of you don't know who she is. Bi-sexual punk folk artist, fiercely independent, political, funny, and a bit twisted in a mostly good way. I have seen Ani several times in concert and if you haven't seen her live you don't have a real grasp on her music in my opinion. But onto what feelings this song evokes in me. Sadness and anger. Politicians are so ridiculously self serving, they take everything that is right and good about this country and find a way of marring it in ugliness and greed. The things that happened that lead up to 9/11 were building up for 30 years. So each party has it's own agenda, just never seems like that agenda is truly for the people.



MikeyB 24.01.2012. 01:34

Monday Night Raw Ep.48 presented by BVW. Is it good? November 26, 2012

Music hits and Nigel McGuinness walks down the ramp to the crowd?s dismay. He gets in the ring and grabs a mic. He says that last night at Survivor Series he was the victim of fraud and deceit. Jack Swagger beat him a fluke of a match. He did not lose, he was cheated. Nigel is the better wrestler. The fans know it, Jack knows, and he knows it. He wants Jack to come out here right now, so he can beat him in a match that matters. Nigel drops the mic. Music hits, and Jack comes out to the top of the ramp. He says that he has already proved that he is the better wrestler. The fans know that, Nigel knows that, and he knows that. He knew that Nigel would bitch about his loss last night tonight, so without management he made a match for Nigel himself against this man...KANE!

Match 1-Singles:
Kane d. Nigel McGuinness with a Chokeslam

The camera pans to the announcer?s table where Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are Raw?s commentators. Jerry says that last night Road Dogg and X Pac showed up at Survivor Series but were not let it, instead an WWE executive said that if they wanted to talk with Mr. McMahon they need to reveal their leader tonight! JR says that they will be here at the end of the night!

**Picture replay is shown for the Raw matches at Survivor Series last night. Sin Cara beat Kofi Kingston and Sheamus to RETAIN his US Title and to win the Hardcore Title from Sheamus. Kurt Angle beat John Morrison to RETAIN the WWE Title.

Match 2-Singles:
John Morrison d. Tyson Kidd w/DH Smith with the Starship Pain

Post Match: Smith helps Kidd out of the ring and up the ramp. John grabs a mic. He says that last night he was embarrassed, but it will not happen again. He says that he is not a loser. He can beat Kurt Angle, and he can win the WWE Title. He wants another chance. The crowd boos. Kurt appears on the titantron with his WWE Title on his shoulder. Kurt says that John can have another WWE Title shot, but it will be his last as long as he is champ. John asks when. He says December 23, at King of the Ring. But for now, he has a match later on, John can watch and learn. Titatron fades out, and John leaves to boos.

Match 3-Singles for US Title Shot:
Sheamus d. Kofi Kingston with the Brogue Kick

**Graphic is shown for the King of the Ring PPV. The tournament starts next week!

Match 4-Tag Team Non Title:
Tag Champs Zack Ryder/Curt Hawkins d. The Usos(Jey/Jimmy) with the Rough Ryder followed by the Heat Seeking Elbow on Jey

Match 5-Singles Non Title:
WWE Champ Kurt Angle d. Rosey w/The Hurricane with the Ankle Lock

OH YOU DIDN?T KNOW? YOU?RE ASS BETTER CALL SOMEBODY! Road Dogg and X Pac make their way out to the ring to boos in jeans and shirts with a tie. Dogg says that they followed directions and are here Raw not causing chaos, and they?re wearing ties! Dogg says that he knows that the fans are listening and he knows the WWE executives are listening but Vince better be damn sure that he is listening. They didn?t followed the directions they were given by Vince?s puppet, they listened to the directions given to them by their boss. Their boss also said that he is not to be revealed tonight, so Vince and everyone else can cry themselves to sleep. The crowd boos. NO CHANCE! The crowd pops. It?s not Vince McMahon, instead it?s the WWE executive. He makes his way to the ring. He says that since this is the case, X Pac and Road Dogg are banished from Raw under Vince?s order. X Pac laughs, and says that Vince isn?t hear. He says that they like it here, and it is going to be very hard to keep them away. The executive goes to say something else but it KO?d by a fist from Road Dogg. X Pac stomps on him. Road and X Pac laugh as we fade to black....


Admin 24.01.2012. 01:34

I generally don't read these fan-written shows. No offense to anyone who writes them, and no slight intended...I just don't have much free time for Y!A and what little time I do have I would rather spend answering questions. I do applaud the passion of those who want to take their fandom to another level by taking the time and energy to "produce" their own shows.

I like that your show wasn't just current WWE performers (I haven't read earlier shows, as I explained above, so I don't know your storylines and feuds). You have some past stars and performers from other promotions mixed in with current WWE performers, which can make for some interesting match-ups we've never seen before (like Swagger vs McGuinness, a match I'd like to see for real).

You've structured your show like a TV episode continuing (but not settling) feuds and setting things up for the next PPV, good job. And you left us with a cliffhanger to entice us to tune in "next week", nice.

This would be a good solid episode of TV with several entertaining match-ups, some fuel on the feud-fire, and a cliffhanger. Good job.


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