The luxury of hiring” superstars” to build out a successful team is rarely found when you hire into a new company or get promoted to manage a new/bigger team. Replacing low performers is the easy way out and often not necessarily the best. For one: finding, choosing and integrating “superstars” is not without risk. Objective hiring data suggests that it is a 50/50 proposition on choosing the best candidate. Also, those that are superior performers in one environment often are mismatched to a different environment. Hire a Fortune 500 and place them in a start-up and find out what I mean. That doesn’t mean to say there aren’t “superstars” you can count on in any given situation. We have some. The challenge lies in managing existing teams, with existing employees, often who have been at the firm for a significant length of time. The delicate balance of bringing the best out of existing team members while looking for outside superstars to supplement the team is one of the most difficult challenges of any new executive. We suggest the following as guidance:
1. Challenge individual team members to be “great”: demoralized individuals can’t be great and it is up to the manager to challenge them to be great. Keep the projects small and manageable and let the employee step up. Guide them through those milestones that you know represent greatness in an employee
2. Allow individualized thinking: Let’s face it, some employees need micromanaging to be effective and some have “gyroscopic” personalities. Let individuals loose with their own ideas and they will surprise you.