Business is like baseball in so many ways, none more so than when you set out to build a great team. You want the best players, like that insanely great sales leader, but that's not how the game is played.
Every company, like a ball club, is out to win as many games as possible. But every company is filled from the bottom up with two distinct types of players: You've got your organizational types and your all-star types. A good leader knows the difference.
This is not to disparage those people who get the job done day-in and day-out. This is to help you know that once-in-a-lifetime talent can take your business to the next level. As much as you want a workplace where everyone feels equal, as George Orwell wrote: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal."
So, what are the characteristics of all-stars? For one thing, they're innately talented and possess leadership ability. They're also ambitious and strive to achieve. Beyond that, they're engaged, and constantly developing themselves personally and professionally.
To help them fully harness their natural talents--because nothing is worse than talent going to waste--here are three simple, yet effective ways to keep them engaged at your company:
Challenge them. Give them the tough assignments, urging them to aim for greatness.
Spend time with them. Pass along your wisdom, helping them to develop big goals. Then find out not only who they long to be but when they hope to get to that point.
Show them the money. Obviously, you need to compensate your all-stars fairly. But beyond that, you need to invest in them. Spend your training dollars on them, sending them to the best seminars and the best sessions, which will not only help them develop but also put them among their peers, which will drive them to push even harder.
Businesses that last forever strive to keep the all-stars, and keep them happy. Their development coincides with your success, and those all-stars drive team players to push harder as well, elevating your business.
Build a team with engaged organizational talent and a few driven all-stars and you can count one thing: a lot more wins.