I’ve been fooled before. Talented people are not always performers. They sparkle and shine from time to time. That’s what grabs your attention like a trout to a lure. Then you get hooked, reeled in and cooked for dinner.

This is going to sound harsh yet its truth echoes throughout the marketplace like a giant drum beat. Low performers are sitting around waiting for direction even though much of the work is staring them right in the face. They are talented but also lazy. Lazy people become soft and cry like victims or children who scrape their knees. They will blame you for lack of direction. You don’t need that. You need high performers who help you advance the mission.

High performers need little direction and affirmation from others. They are self-motivated learners and achievers with tons of tenacity. As they mature, they become great teammates because they work to align and compliment their efforts with their leaders and the organization. They seek to understand the mission, which is different from seeking daily tactical direction. They are thinkers, planners, and executors.

That’s who you are looking for. You don’t hire people to help them. You hire people to serve the mission. In return, they are served by the camaraderie and the benefits that come from a culture striving for excellence. This is winning.

Have a clear vision, set high expectations, be humble, and watch what happens. High performers will be attracted to you and your culture because they, like you, want to win. Lower your bar of expectations and watch what happens. Not good. Keep people on the team who need direction, affirmation, and lots of attention, and watch what happens. Not good.

Have a clear vision. High expectations. Be a good human. Win.


Every teammate counts. Each affects the team’s dynamics. That’s why hiring high-performers matters. Wondering how to hire the right people? Jim’s got you! Listen to Episode 56: The Horror of Hiring  to better understand the dos and don’ts of the hiring process.


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