What makes high achiever employees different? This article explains what high achiever employees think and do at the workplace and how you, as a senior manager and CEO, can help them thrive as "the gems" they are for your organization. Being a high achiever myself and coaching many high achiever leaders, I know you will refer to them as "workaholic," "ambitious," "high-flyer," or "gifted." All this is part of who they are, but there's much more. Let's unpack it so you can engage them in thriving teams.
High achievers are great contributors to the cutting edge of any organization. However, their personality is challenging for groups, colleagues and bosses. If you expect to manage them without clipping their wings, and thus wasting their talent, you need to understand their high achieving personality in detail.
High achievers people are great for a start.
High-achieving employees are those who:
It comes naturally to high achievers to identify improvements and challenges and spot growth opportunities for themselves and the organization. They are inspirational, taking colleagues on board thanks to their vision and motivation.
High-energy people make good leaders, inviting others to pursue their growth.
In the face of changes and implementation, where employees need that positive attitude, you need a high-achiever manager or CEO. They will always see the opportunity and persuade others to understand:
In their thinking, high achievers are quickly separating the trash from the wheat to:
In their implementation, ambitious people excel following structured steps. They first:
In the middle or the end of projects, they might need more awareness of what's happening around them.
That's because they're so focused on the quality of their work and delivery, that they forget to check with others on how they feel and update their motivation and drive.
Excellent at inspiring, less great at supporting.
They overlook that not every colleague shares their career ambitions or has the same drive:
As managers, even though their start-up energy is excellent, they may fail their teams in the middle phase implementation of projects.
Better solo players, than team players.
Once they set their course of action, they go: Why are the others so slow? High achievers rely on themselves. If there's a bunch to be done, they will take over everything to themselves, even if it leads to overwhelm or burnout. The button line is they need help to trust others.
Celebration only at the end.
Because they're great at motivating themselves, they don't realize others need rest, praise, and celebration in all stages of implementation. Unbalanced high achievers can even skip this final appraisal for themselves and others, cross the line, and move to the next goal non-stop!
For high achievers, it's more about judging the opportunities and less about feeling for the people.
High achievers are:
High achievers partner best with other high achievers.
High achievers differ from others in that they feel comfortable taking high risks and take little to no time to research and analyze. As soon as they see the opportunity, they go and get it. They understand each other well and can cooperate without feeling threatened.
The downside is they will likely end up caught in rushing in their decision-making, throwing their energy all over the place, or stuck in perfectionism.
How can they compensate?
High achievers and nitty-gritty analyzers at work.
That's why in teams, high achievers perform better in partnership with a nitty-gritty analyzer, ensuring no crucial data is missing in the strategy and implementation of new projects.
Nitty gritty people are a great asset to a high-achieving team, providing:
Another great addition to a high-achieving team is a person capable of focusing. Because high achievers see so many opportunities in different fields and spread their energy all over the place, they must be reminded that 20% of the action brings 80% of the result.
However, team members with high emotional intelligence or excellent analytical skills will be a high achiever´s perfect ally.
The match between high achievers and harmonizers in teams.
People with high emotional intelligence can function as harmonizers in groups. They can tap into the needs of high achievers and other team members. With their personality, harmonizers can turn a bunch of brilliant individuals into a thriving and cohesive team. Harmonizers can “glue” a team and:
A strong communicator is also crucial for high achievers.
High achievers need someone who communicates assertively and to the point about what must be done or changed in the course of action. That works best when the communicator understands the goal they´re striving to achieve, values the role of the high achiever in the project, and empowers the team to function as a cohesive team to support high achievers on that.
Resilience is the magic sauce for high-achieving teams.
The overall performance of these teams must be conscious, meticulous, reliable, and very flexible. High achievers are positively oriented. They´re self-promoting, inspiring, engaging, and imaginative. But they need a colleague who slows them down, gives structure to their project, and glues the team helping others to encompass the high achiever within the group without cutting their wings.
Problems circle one pain: expectations. As senior manager and CEO, you need to be aware of expectations - your own, colleagues and high achievers themselves - and:
Else they will suffer, and so will you.
You'll find managing other high achievers easy if you're a high achiever. Like you, they see many opportunities and are quick in their decisions and actions. You're both strivers, enterprising, and dynamic.
Teaming with other high achievers is your bliss and your trap.
Here are some key points that as a high achiever manager you should help other high achievers do:
Your challenge will be delegating and engaging with very structured colleagues.
As a high achiever manager, you need thoughtful, logical, factual, and evaluated persons different from your kind because they´re relevant for the success of a task, strategy, or project. Listen to them carefully and take them on board. Trust them to delegate more.
People who are very attentive and people-oriented will also get on your nerves. You will likely think of them as too empathetic, considerate, or pondered, but you´ll do better when you team with them.
In time, you´ll discover that a combination of personalities in your team will prevent you from rushing into blind spots, wrong conclusions, or rocky courses of action.
A team's success hinges on emotions.
High achievers excel at leading but rely on empathetic colleagues to empower team members, keeping their energy and purpose soaring between projects.
Learn more about partnering as a high achiever with complementary team personalities.
There's no such thing as "non-high achievers." What exists are people who are more focused on tasks, who thrive in the field of execution, and we usually call them high achievers. And on the other hand, we have people who thrive in relationships and the empowerment of others. These are the best natural leaders.
Teaming with high achievers may feel threatening to others.
If you're a high-engaging manager, help high achievers realize that how they see themselves may differ from how others perceive them.
You can support your team's high achievers by understanding how they function best and providing the right conditions. High achievers need managers who:
It takes high achievers time to trust you fully.
Their communication is biased. After all, they won´t easily ask for feedback, help, or support because they interpret those as weak signals. It takes maturity and personal work to turn these perceived weaknesses into strengths. Executive coaching is an encompassing way to raise awareness, shift behavior and achieve results.
If you're managing the career development of high-achiever employees and having a development discussion with them, these recommendations will bring satisfaction to both of you:
My recommendation of high achiever managers and CEOs and their teams:
Challenge them to use positive psychology. A practice such as mental fitness can be very beneficial to calm down, take time to see the big picture, acknowledge their impact and align their strategic actions. Also, the PCM Personality Profiling can help them focus and better manage their energy during the implementation phase.
The secret sauce: offer high achievers trust.
High achievers need managers they can trust. Confidence is not something that comes naturally to them.
Their trust parallels your emotional intelligence, management, and communication skills. Average won't do for them: they need you to excel in your humanity so you can grant them the freedom, direction, and recognition they need without clipping their wings.
In return, you'll get all their talent, high energy, and forward vision to keep your organization on the cutting edge of the industry and balance results.
You've got everyone's back, and I´ve got yours.
Achieving success in team performance goes beyond your technical expertise. Let me challenge you to gain profound emotional intelligence and exceptional communication skills so you can retain high achiever gems close to you.
You can book a breakthrough call here.
To your success,
I'm the founder of BOC Institute, one of the renowned consulting and executive search agencies for international companies operating in Slovenia and South-East Europe.
I coach CEOs and top managers 1:1 worldwide. I'm here to save you time, energy, and money through your objectives, decision-making, and leadership development. I understand we can change the world one coaching session at a time!
Do you feel like having a call? You can reach out here and let me guide you from there.
Simona Špilak www.simonaspilak.com
Receive curated content to accelerate your growth.