Lessons Learned: Fill your office with ‘stars’

Published by The Nashville Business Journal

People are by far the single most valuable component of any business. Basic corporate strategy encourages perpetual upgrading of the team to build a stronger organization. That’s why companies are in constant competition to recruit, develop and maintain the very best talent possible.

The problem is, exceptionally talented people — the stars — can be threatening, which can cause ripples in any growing company. When executives and managers are expected to hire and promote people who may in fact be smarter and better at the job at hand, corporate culture can get uncomfortable quickly.

There’s good news: Following company protocol while still protecting your role and supporting your team is absolutely possible. It just takes a little perspective, because in reality, stars lift everyone up. Here’s how stars make the corporate world go round:

• Self reflection
Building a team of stars will almost certainly produce commendable results for your business unit. If you are ambitious and look into the future, you will probably realize that this kind of accomplishment makes you look good for hiring and leading the best team.

• New opportunities
Putting together a team of stars that accomplishes outstanding things can open doors of opportunity for you personally. Top management views talent producers in a very positive light and will often consider this aspect of leadership when making decisions about promotion. As a talent builder, you will gain attention and respect — and perhaps additional responsibilities and advancement.

• Less stress
Having great talent on your team can only help your group produce more and better results while ideally helping your unit function more efficiently. Highly capable stars might just make your work life easier by reducing stress and allowing you a little more time to focus on what you do best.

• Everyone improves
Remember, improvement is the product of a great team. Really bright people will push and challenge you in ways that may at first make you feel uncomfortable. They will ask “why” when no one else does, and they will raise questions about current and past practices. Embrace it. You are all moving forward and improving for the greater good.

Surrounding yourself with stars is a win-win proposition. If you want to get ahead, your team stars will lift you up. If you are happy where you are, you can help your stars get ahead and in turn gain respect for your talent-building skills. Enhancing the talent level of your own team will enhance the future of your entire organization.

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