Authors and Consultants | GP Strategies Corporation

Top Performer Perspective: The Hard Work


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Last week we discussed how excellent technical performance is the price of admission to the game, as Harvey Coleman calls it. So if excellent technical performance only gets you into the game but is not sufficient to win the game, what is?

That is the key question.

Over the last weeks, we’ve highlighted several perspectives shared by top performers across roles and industries. Note that these are top performers in every sense of the word, not just from the technical prowess aspect. These people excel in their roles in ways that make them stand out objectively when evaluated by their ratings and subjectively when top management is asked to identify whom they would most like to clone. So these folks have not only paid the price of admission, they have cracked the code of what’s necessary to win the game.

Let’s look at the list of eleven perspectives we’ve discussed so far:

  • dreaming
  • humble
  • patient
  • resolute
  • dealing with bureaucracy
  • storytelling
  • team oriented
  • team alignment
  • trusting
  • technically competent
  • willingness to share

Only one of these perspectives is related to technical prowess on the job. That lines up amazingly well with Coleman’s assertion that only 10 percent of success results from being technically competent. Of course, that 10 percent is demanded, hence the notion of the price of admission.

The rest of the perspectives are related to the practice of human interaction skills: the ability to work with others, to build and leverage trusting relationships, and to develop methods to relate in a meaningful way to those around us.

Next week we’ll dig into this idea a little more based on Geoff Colvin’s book: Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will.

Question to ponder:

  • Do you specifically hire for, cultivate, and reward human interaction skills?



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