5 ways to spot high performers

May 19, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Even the best manager needs good players to produce championships. Ideas and motivation can be wasted unless the team has members who can perform at the highest levels.

In her book “Execution is the Strategy” Laura Stack writes that “quantum leapers” can achieve results more than 10 times those of average workers. Further, a leader can spot those stars and then help nurture and develop them.

Stack recommends looking for the following:

  • Looking good on paper. Did someone graduate summa cum laude with a dual major? That’s good, because it can indicate an overachiever. Quickly rising through the ranks with stellar performance records is another possibly good sign.
  • The Yoda attitude. Borrowing from “Star Wars,” this quotes the little green master saying, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Look for this attitude in face-time interviews with candidates.
  • Sharp, well-defined goals. High performers have no problems citing their goals, both short- and long-term goals. They can present those goals neatly and quickly and show a solid understanding of the steps required to achieve them.
  • Ambition. High performers push themselves to get ahead. They radiate confidence, don’t need anyone else to motivate them and maintain a clear sense of direction.
  • Excellent time-management skills. This includes not just good use of time while on the job but also a good work-life balance.