3 Characteristics of Star Performers

Have you ever considered that your star performers in your business (e.g. your top sales people, your rain-makers, traders, top-talent, etc) are a bit like the concerto soloist in an orchestra?

I had the privilege of accompanying the exceptional violinist, Giovanni Guzzo, in a performance of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto at St John’s, Smith Square, London recently. His performance was brilliant.

Guzzo has 3 characteristics, which need to be balanced to create a truly exceptional performance:  Raw talent, the ability to inspire, and team spirit.

Raw Talent

All star performers must have the talent, technique and potential to be exceptional. They need to deliver time after time and minimise errors. This is a given. I was struck by how Guzzo consistently nailed the incredibly high notes. I was also struck with how his performance was lifted several notches from rehearsal to performance.  He raised his game on the night.

The ability to inspire

Concerto soloists can either inspire the orchestra or demotivate it by how they manage their relationship with the orchestra; star performers in the work place likewise. Those who are arrogant, aloof and not willing to get involved alienate themselves. Their impact can make the organisation feel undervalued and overall performance is not maximised.

Or you can do it like Guzzo. He was inspirational, because despite all his raw talent he was humble and engaging. During the rehearsals and concert, he repeatedly encouraged the orchestra – a knowing smile, a nod of recognition, a sparkle of the eyes when sections really did their bit well, a word of advice here and there. This lifted the orchestra. We all felt valued and part of his success.

Team spirit

So often, the “special ones” are kept apart. Concerto soloists have their groupies, their own room and can keep themselves to themselves. Guzzo socialised with the orchestral team and appeared not to see himself apart from us. This enabled us to feel we were all part of the overall performance. Star performers in the work place need to be aware of the impact they have, and engaging in the wider team is critical to the overall performance.