Managing top performers is a tough call not adequately handled by many managers. They need to be saddled with tons of security, creativity and ability to let go. In short, a high EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) manager is the only one who can manage a top performer. One can hardly overemphasize the need of having trained managers in the organizations who understand the need to retain talent and its importance to the larger goals. Some traits a manager needs to possess in order to take on a top talent in his/her team would be:
Secure: Managing a team-member having more talent than the supervisor and one who in all probability is destined to go higher than his seniors is no mean feat. Only an inwardly secure person can manage such top talent. One who understands well that as managers their contribution to the organization, as in the present case, is recruitment and development of top talent and that is going to be their claim to fame!
Imaginative: Designing challenging projects that keep their star performers engaged is only the start of the journey down the imagination lane for the managers. They need to keep thinking of ways to ensure that the career track of their HIPOs is engineered well towards accelerated growth.
Resourceful: Since plain, vanilla communication just will not do, managers need to be resourceful in order to get skip-level managers involved with the HIPOs in conversations, apart from the Human Resource department. This also creates a feeling of being valued, another essential element for top talent engagement.
Synergistic: While managing the top talent, one cannot forget the existence of other members of the team. The task of synergizing the overall team efforts towards a common
direction without making anyone feeling left out, while piloting complex high performer career path, can be a tough one!
Far-sighted: Once the star performers have been coached and nurtured, when the relevant opportunity comes, the manager needs to keep the big picture in mind and let go of his top talent for larger, sometimes more ‗visible‘ roles which fit in well with the team member‘s career track. Doing so will ensure further engagement of the team-member as well as earn respect – a keenly sought commodity by all managers.