What Makes A Superstar Employee?

Superstar Employees

The secret to success that all great employers have discovered is as simple as, “right person-right job.”

When people are placed into jobs they can excel in every time, miracles can happen.


Think about the following questions:

Have you ever noticed how managers, supervisors and leaders of all kinds often expect everyone to perform at the same level?

Do you ever wonder why some people become superstars in their jobs, outperforming all others in the same field?

Do you wish you could be acknowledged as the very best at what you do?

Just as in the fields of entertainment and athletics, every profession has its superstars. In any workplace, it is quite easy to find someone who consistently does more work in a shorter period of time than the rest of their team. Often they will also turn out a better product and make fewer mistakes than their less capable counterparts.

Performance Results

“So, why can’t everyone perform at the same level?”

Michael JordanThe answer has less to do with aptitude than it does with motivation and behaviour.  Aptitude can be defined as natural skill, talent or job-specific intelligence. That comes with time, but at the core of every superstar is a natural motivation toward the work he or she does.

Athletes are often borne with natural size, excellent hand-eye coordination or exceptional speed, but before they have the opportunity to show off their abilities they have to be motivated to become athletes.

They must have a desire to run, throw, kick, skate, bat or do whatever activity is required.

If they have no interest or motivation toward athletics, they will struggle, fumble, and ultimately fail while those borne with the same natural physical characteristics AND a great interest in being a superstar athlete will succeed.

Self Motivation

Desire and Self-Motivation

Behaviour is the offspring of motivational satisfaction.”

Hence, those who are highly motivated will show better attitudes and their behaviour is likely to be peppered with excitement and elation.  On the other hand, their less-motivated counterparts will ultimately exhibit lethargy, disinterest and defeat.

The same phenomenon that we see in athletes applies to every person and every job on earth. When we place people in jobs that they have no real desire to do, the best we can expect is mediocre results.

For example, if we were to take two people of same ages, identical IQ’s, identical education, but with contrary methodological motivations and put them both in the profession of accounting we will probably find that one does better than the other.

It is conceivable in extreme cases that after their training is complete one will become a superstar accountant and the other will not be able to do his or her own personal taxes.

“We all enjoy doing things we do well and there is a greater chance of us doing well at something we enjoy because our motivation will drive us to greater effort and better results.”

Same Ol’ Same Ol’

Despite all of that, employers and employees keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Employers continue to expect benchmark performance from every person in every job and employees keep applying for and acquiring jobs that they have no chance of ever performing well in.

When that happens, a performance bottleneck occurs as the motivated employees work around the poor performers and the less-motivated workers inadvertently or deliberately slow everyone else down.

“In many cases the poor performers do not know or will not accept that they are not as motivated as their superstar co-workers.”

Usually poor performers simply resent over-achievers for their obvious tenacity and drive and tell themselves that they are just as good as anyone else. Their self-deception often causes them to make excuses for their poor performance and to look for ways to make the superstars look bad.

The result:

Poor morale, lack of teamwork and ultimately, reduced production and poor financial performance for the entire organization.

What’s the Answer?

For employees, it is imperative that they know what their motivations are and then seek out jobs that excite them. People who apply for jobs that do not interest them for the sole purpose of achieving status or fortune will generally achieve neither.

Employers who hire random bodies or people who say the right things during interviews instead of hiring people who are truly motivated to do the job they are offering, are continually disappointed. Often they are left scratching their heads as to what went wrong. If you want to be happier in your work, find your passions and find a job where you can realize and cultivate them.

“If you want to run a high-performing workplace, there are a lot of motivational assessment tools on the market that can help you avoid the all-too-common mistake of hiring unmotivated employees. Buy them and use them.”

Highly successful businesses with superstar workers do not happen by accident. They are the product of great leadership that puts that right person in the right job every time. And don’t forget that very successful people get to do what they do best everyday so discover what motivates you and do everything you can to make it an integral part of your work.

So what are you doing to help your people understand their deepest internal motivations? How are you working with those elements so that you your team members can incorporate them into their daily roles? And how are you doing getting the right people in the right places so that they can work most productively? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Wayne Kehl is President and CCO at Dynamic Leadership Inc
He is author and behavioral analyst who lectures on leadership and motivation

Image Sources: wrestling101.com, blogginginamerica.com, 3.bp.blogspot.com

L2L Contributing Author