BNET: How to Manage Overachievers

The tagline of this blog is practical overachievement. An overachiever is generally defined someone who performs better than their peers when compared for background, intelligence or talent. The practical side of overachievement is, in my opinion, work effort, or a relentless pursuit of well-defined goals. It doesn’t matter if the goal is business development, IT strategy, bowling, or overcoming fear. Here is a great article on managing overachievers.

Overachievers have the drive, determination, passion, and energy needed to move huge projects forward. But they’re not like other employees. You need to lead them differently if you want to take advantage of all they have to offer. You also need to watch out for characteristic quirks that can undermine their success: They sometimes set unrealistic expectations, work insane hours, and take risks to succeed at any cost. Without some savvy supervision, many can lose perspective and become obsessed, dysfunctional, and ultimately unable to perform.

In order to manage overachievers well, you need to understand their personality type and build a relationship on trust, so they know you have their best interest in mind. Here we’ll show you how to curb the destructive tendencies that can disrupt a star performer’s productivity and develop positive management skills to keep them — and you — happy.

* None. You can’t put a price on a well-managed relationship.
* Keeping a super-achiever on track demands constant communication. Schedule an hour or two per week for pep talks, dealing with obstacles, and discussing personal goals.
* Interpersonal Skills: You’ll need fundamental skills like listening, observing, and communicating to understand overachievers and the objectives they value most.
* Mentoring Program: Develop a mentoring program such as IBM’s (see “The Nitty Gritty,” below) to guide overachievers — and to let them provide insight and information to other employees.
* Patience: Overachievers demand a lot from their managers, but if you give them the time and attention they need, they can accomplish twice as much as other employees.

Identify the Overachiever
Goal: Recognize overachievers on your team and during job interviews.

more of the BNET article from Laurie Sullivan

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