Every company have people that knows the business inside out. They have worked for the company for a long time that they can easily take decisions without a recourse to the CEO. They are known as stars.
Stars are valuable assets to every business owner, manager or CEO. Stars make things happen. They generate unimaginable ideas to reposition or grow the organization. They are sales experts, management experts and know little about many things. No organization can grow without stars.
If you mention any large corporation, you must remember a star CEO that transformed it. Tony Elumelu transformed Standard Trust Bank and United Bank for Africa. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede took Access Bank to the next level. Steve Jobs brought Apple back to life. Time Cook is presently making lots of money for Apple Inc. Steve Ballmer did exploits at Microsoft before he retired and a host of others.
So, you can see that every organization need stars to grow exponentially. But it takes creative and an astute leader to properly manage stars.
One thing is certain, you need stars to win, and it is very important that you identify your stars–the top 20 percent–and reward them accordingly.
But bear in mind that it can backfire. A star’s ego can be a dangerous thing. Some business owners and managers have promoted some stars too quickly and their ambition got out of control.
Some leaders also make the mistake of telling stars that they are irreplaceable and it got into their heads. In fact, some of them believe that they are indispensable, that they should not be bound by anything, including the company’s values and aspirations. Stars can become monsters if you let them.
I suggest that someone should monitor the stars, especially their bosses with support from the HR department.
The minute a star seems to be getting arrogant or out of control, someone has to call him to order. His boss should have a good conversation with him and caution him.
Sometimes stars can surprise you and leave. If that happens, you must replace him as fast as possible to send a message to the organization that no one is indispensable. It will make other people to know that nobody can hold the organization to ransom.
Jack Welch shared this experience: “One morning in the summer of 2001, just as Jeff Immelt was about to take over as CEO, Larry Johnson, who was CEO of our appliance business, came to headquarters to tell us he was taking the job as CEO of Albertson, the large West Coast food and drug chain.
Larry was a big presence in General Electric, with strong track record and great reputation.
Even though the announcement of his departure knocked the wind out of us, we moved quickly. By four o’clock that afternoon, we appointed Jim Campbell, the sales manager in Appliance, to the job.
Albertson got a great CEO, and we never missed a beat. Jim was off and running from day one.”
The only way to replace a star swiftly is to have a good number of people ready to do so. That’s where good evaluation system come in, in particular, career development planning. That process can raise one or two in-house candidates to replace any star who departs.
My advice is, don’t wait until the star leaves before you start looking for replacement. By then it will be too late to make the point.
Some traders from South East, Nigeria, who had good apprentices did not find replacements while the good apprentice was around. By the time he leaves, his boss will be struggling to run his business.
I am not in anyway saying that you should hate stars or look for ways to punish them. Celebrate them both in the secret and in the public. But don’t allow them to hold the organization to ransom. Have backups.
One of the best ways to have backups is to consistently organize corporate training in your organization. Your staff or team cannot do what they don’t know. The good news is that we have an online platform to train your staff anywhere in the world. All you have to do is to call +234 7032681154 or simply click this link bit.ly/322fxVj and sign up immediately or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To order my books and audio programs, call 08064143363 or 07032681154.
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