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6. When Being a Star Sucks

You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, right? 80% of the value is created by 20% of your employees. What if I told you that research suggests that it’s more like 5%, not 20%? Yes, 5 out of 100 people are clearly your “star performers,” producing far more value than the remaining 95%. What are the implications for human capital strategy? We should be spending more time finding our stars and cultivating those relationships. What would ensure that they stay at your organization, continuing to add value for years to come? We should also stop encouraging stars to take on positions that aren’t a fit for them. The classic example is promoting the top sales performer into a sales manager position. Salespeople sell. Managing might not be their thing. We consider all sorts of psychographics when managing human capital - personality, values, strengths, and the like. If we ignore what are arguably the more important factors - employee needs, drives, and preferences - we’re missing the boat.


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