Sometimes organizations suffers because the leader doesn’t know its stars.
Leaders sometimes ignore the diamond in the rough in their organizations. Blind leaders look on the outer appearance too often and miss the mark.
In the bible there’s a story about a prophet who came to a small town to anoint the next king of Israel. The prophet enters this man’s house and ask him to gather all his son’s. The father of that house did what he was told. As each sons entered the room the prophet said to himself, this one is surly the next king because he was tall and handsome.
But God responded to the prophet saying, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees;[a] for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7
This is very powerful when it comes to making great decisions, making wise choices for your organization or business. You must learn to look not simply on the outer appearance.
Have you read success stories when someone is turned down because they didn’t “fit the profile” and later that individual becomes more successful than the person who turned them down?
In that same story, the father of the house had one more son, he was out in the field taking care of the family’s sheep. The father never thought of bringing him in with the other sons. His father overlooked him. But it was him, David the prophet had come to anoint as king chosen by God.
The question I ask you is who are you overlooking? Could you have a king or queen in your midst yet totally oblivious to them?
Do you have a star player and power seller in your organization that can take you and your business to the next level?
You may have to do a gut check. You may have to pray. You may have to take your bias glasses off and put on a fresh pair that looks inwardly at your people. You may find you have this person all along in your business. You may discover that this person has the solutions to the problems that keeps you up at night. You may need to stop and pause, look at their work ethics. You may need to make it a habit to have conversation with them to see where they are in life.
When I ran my eBook publishing business, I had the privilege of discovering my star writers and star VA’s (virtual Assistance) by simply making small talk about their personal lives, family, kids, birthdays and such. You have to show you are interested in them. Not just what they can do for you. I soon discovered my stars were very adamant of getting the job done right and on a timely basis. Only on some projects we agreed more time could be dedicated if the project needed it.
One thing I did to show my star players love was to give bonuses every now and then. These incentives only worked more in both our favor. One particular VA would go above and beyond the task and do a wonderful job.
When you discover your star players, learn to treat them well. I recall Carnegie would give his business associates bonuses because he valued what they did for his businesses. It doesn’t take much. a gift card, a thank you card or monetary gift something to show you appreciate them and what they do.
Like a diamond in the rough, it does need some work to shows its true beauty!
You would hate to find that this person was right underneath your nose the whole time only to lose them to a competitor or worse yet becomes your competition and swallow you up.
As a great leader for your business. You must and I repeat you must start to look at the potential stars in your life. To many great leaders have suffered this great plight. Only to discover what they truly had.
Upon hiring two VA’s to do the same task. I noticed both came into the same roadblock on a given project. Where one would complain about the obstacle when the other virtual assistant found a work-a-round solution. I was amazed at that. Here are some traits you can look for;
- Solution Mindset. Instead of finding fault or complaining. Your star will find a solution to a given problem. When I asked both VA about this particular problem. My star told me, she encountered difficulty, but she did some research (network) to solve the problem. My other VA simply reported the problem and blame the people at the other end.
- Self-Motivated. Even though this person may be in your organization. Your star pupil will not need you to push them to get things done. They are self-motivators. No one needs to come and turn them on like a machine, they are already set to perform. This in one trait you should look for.
- Teachable. This trait is so vital to your survival in business and in life in general. Your star player will have a teachable spirit. They will adapt to your way of doing things, not in a slavish way. But in respect to how you run your organization or enterprise.
- Leadership. By leadership I don’t mean for them taking the lead. Anyone can take the lead. What I mean is how are they influencing others. Do others seem to gravitates towards them for answers? or do they pull away? Are they respected or are they feared? If you put five to ten people in a room to have discussion about them, what would the overall consensus say?
- Honesty and Trust. In the story above about David, he was trusted to take care of his father’s sheep. In his story there’s a place mentioned that he wrestled off preys to keep the sheep safe. A star player will demonstrate trust and honesty even when no one is around.
It is said great leaders make people feel welcome. They make people feel like they are important in their organization.
Given enough time people often leave when there’s a better opportunity. I’ve worked with numerous people, one of the top reason I hear why they leave isn’t about the lack of money. But the lack of respect, how they are treated. Could you be mistreating, devaluing a star player on your roster?
Business is like a relationship. In the words of Aretha Franklin;
“Take me to heart
And I’ll always love you
And nobody can make me do wrong
Take me for granted, leaving love unsure
Makes will power weak
And temptation strong”
It maybe sound weird to quote this here but it makes perfect sense.
Your star player if taken for granted can start to stray. But if you utilize them and there gifts they will be most productive, with only thoughts of moving you and your organization further into a bright future. Just like a good relationship.
Some leaders are to lazy or too fearful to put in the work to cultivate a diamond in the rough. They prefer the finished product delivered right in front of their doorsteps. But great leaders understands that it takes time, it takes putting on pressure to bring out the best.
Lets briefly talk about pressure. You see, a diamond has to go through a stage where pressure is added to the coal in order to break and bring forth the diamond within. The kind of pressure you add to your diamond in the rough should help them bring out their very best. Without breaking them. Don’t be overbearing. If you struggle with how to cultivate great people, there’s great materials that can help you be a great leader.
In building your business you need to understand that you are not just an entrepreneur you are a leader people look to. So take this role very seriously.
With all that being said. I pray you begin to look at the people currently in your life. You have star players on the bench. You have diamonds in the rough. It’s up to you to discover them, simply by putting them in play. Learn how to cultivate your people. If you need to take a leadership course then do so. Remember, this person or set of people could be the ones that solves the problems that keeps you up at night.
Till next time Samuel Augustin