The Curse of the High Performer

Share On:

My guest today is Brian Kincade. Brian is the Emergency Department Assistant Supervisory Nurse at one of our local hospitals. He and his wife Morgan are active at theCHURCH of Arizona (, where Brian assists with the Youth Ministry and Morgan with the Worship.

by Brian Kincade

Think about the top performers in your organization. Think about how you viewed them when they first started. Think about when you first started to notice their strengths, work ethic, and what they brought to the organization.

Maybe at first you thought some of their early success was luck or just outliers in regards to their overall performance. Maybe you thought their early high performance was just a zeal for their new position or their desire to do well early so they could eventually settle in with the average producers on your team. In order to be good enough to avoid being singled out one way or another.

But – over time – you learned these high performers were consistently outperforming others in your organization. This was either through billing more, selling more, securing more accounts, reaching deadlines early, customer satisfaction or any other way in which your organization measures performance.

In my organization high performers are made team leaders, assigned special projects or detailed to provide education to the team. These roles are very valuable not only to the team but also to the organization as a whole.

Team leaders who can manage the day to day operations with little to no involvement from management allow management to do what only they can do. Special projects and education are where new discoveries, processes and specialization come into play which can lead to exponential growth within the organization.

The question is – how do you lead your high performers in a way which maximizes their performance without burning them out or making them feel as though they are being taken advantage of?

That’s a loaded question because you have to know your team and the individuals within it. The answer falls in two categories: first, those that exhibit high satisfaction in their work and second; those whose fulfillment may be a bit lacking.

First, if they enjoy and find purpose in their job then it’s pretty easy to make them happy in acknowledging their hard work. Just make sure you acknowledge their work in a way that is appropriate for your organization and fits their personality.

Second, for those who are high performers but do not have as much fulfillment in their work it can be a little more complicated. 

For them when you get a special project or education opportunity you can let them choose what projects they take on. This gives them autonomy which many high achievers appreciate.

Another idea is to invest in these individuals and find out what they appreciate most. It could be recognition, cash awards, extra vacation time or something as simple as a gift card to their favorite coffee shop.

A large part of leadership is showing the team how valuable they are. Good leaders are always looking for ways to show not only their top performers but all members of their team how valuable they are.

Success! You're on the list.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.