Stars, Workhorses, and Problem Children

Management, leadership, team building.

What do you do with the problem children and the deadwood?

They get us noticed, they have to be recruited, when you recruit stars they may have more talent than those already on the time. Stars have high potential and high achievement. 5% of any group, they can motivate others to improve, but sometimes start as problem children. Once they start to emerge as stars, ask them to set high goals, urge them to work hard on their skills. Use their daily activity as an example.

They have high achievement but average potential, they often have a high motivation to gain skills. In any organization 20% of the people produce 80% of the results. Sometimes workhorses need to be shown how to be successful, help them work toward their potential. They are hard workers and can be multipliers. Teams are defined by their workhorses.

Stars and workhorses produce the results, you should spend 80% of your time with these producers. Work on their strengths, identify what they need to do to improve, use them as multipliers.

Use a system of multipliers, teach someone something, ask them to help others. Explain to them they gain power within the group by helping others. Repetition by teaching others will help them improve. Workhorses often can be effective multipliers.

Problem children; they  sometimes have high potential, but low achievement and low skills. They can be of value, learn how to manage them.  Ignore them when safe to do so, but “Catch them doing something right” and mention it. Reprimand in private. I have had problem children become workhorses because they changed  their attitude. I always felt that the problem children  should not be kicked off the team because they needed us more than we needed them.

Deadwood; ignore, ignore,  ignore, low potential and low achievement. They will eliminate themselves or they have to be removed from group. Remember I did not have to fire anyone.

Discipline problems; tell them how it makes you feel, concentrate on their  behavior, explain what is expected of them. Suggest to  them, ” I know you can do better”. Limit your praise, but ask others on team to help so the problem children feel included.

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