Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Looking for Performance?

Getting people to perform is the single biggest challenge for organizations. Of course, people in organizations work. But do they perform to their potential? Generally I don’t think so! There is huge untapped potential within people and it simply never comes out. However great leaders are somehow able to ignite a passion for performance that makes people put in that extra little bit for them. What magic potion do these leaders have that makes performers out of ordinary people? Is it a rocket science? Can I have it?

Of course you can!
Like everyone else I am too searching for that potion, but in the course of my search I have found some tidbits that I believe will be helpful. I have found that

  • Everyone has a performer within them. Often the performer is sleeping. Awaken that performer in your team.
  • Performers are wary of politics! But given that organizational politics is a reality, Performers see a performer who is good in organizational politics as more worthy adversary than a non-performer! If you can discourage organizational politics, at least shield your team from the pan-organisational politicking.
  • Performers are not wary of other performers. In fact they love performers. Promote the performers in your team to get together, act as a team, take on bigger challenges!
  • Performers are not hugely motivated by money alone. Along with money, performers need recognition. As a leader, it is your responsibility to advertise the performers in your team! Performers will love you for it! Yet remember performance love genuine appreciation and can see through fakes!
  • Performers want preferential treatment over non-performers. Any indication of socialism in reward allocation is a big put-off for performers. After all there has to be enough motivation to perform. A healthy bias towards performance is a good performance initiator! Remember show the bias to performance and not to performers!

What has been your experience? Have you experience this as a leader, or as part of a team? Let me know.