Articulating greatness

By William Seidman What are the qualities of a truly great worker? If you’re interested in making the most of your star performers and putting into action the tenets of affirmative leadership, one of the first steps is to identify who, exactly, are your stars, and what it is that makes them so effective at their work. The first part can be easy – sales figures, employee interviews and customer reviews can tell you who your best workers are, but it can be difficult to understand exactly what it is that makes them tick. They may not even know! Many of the world’s star performers – whether they’re working in fast food or the Pentagon – are what we call ‘unconsciously competent,’ and might be unable to articulate what it is that makes them great at what they do. That’s where leadership comes in – you need to describe what it is that makes them great, so you can transform that wisdom into a program that can help the rest of your workers grow and improve. In The Star Factor  we lay out a specific blueprint for a ‘Wisdom Discovery Session,’ tips and strategies for drawing out the exact qualities that make your stars so great. Here you have to be a bit of a detective, using active listening, probing questions and engaging conversation to draw unconscious competence out into the open. Being able to put your finger on what makes your star great at their job won’t just help you articulate it to others, it will help them lead by example. Affirmative leadership is about being proactive, engaging and discerning.  ]]>

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