image by vittonettophoto, flickr artist

it’s true. every team needs a superstar.

balance is important to a winning formula, and i think we all know that. people have to complement each other, make up for each others faults, and bring a certain set of skills to the table — even if those skills aren’t going to make many people stand up and take notice. you hear it many times, “someone has to do the work.”

but there is such a thing as having too much balance.

we’ve become enamored with utility players in our businesses. people that we feel we can take and throw into any situation and they’ll still produce dividends for us (and for our shareholders). we want everyone to be able to do everything. we’re even groomed as such, going all the way back into our childhoods and early adult lives.

we’re told as kids to be well-rounded or we won’t get into a good college, and in college we’re told to be well-rounded or we won’t get a good job. art history anyone? the problem being that very few focus on any one thing long enough or hard enough to become really good at it. but even among it all, somehow true superstars still emerge.

so how do you know who the superstars are in your organization? on your team? they’re the people who never fail you. they’re the ones who do uncommon work. they’re the ones driving the conversations. they’re the ones pushingthemselvesand their peers to be better than they already are. but it’s not enough to just recognize your superstars;as a leader, you need to ask yourself, “am i doing everything that i can to make sure that my superstars are happy?” in addition to that, on an even broader scale, as an organization you need to be thinking, “are our processes set up to reward these people? are we doing everything that we can to guarantee that they don’t leave our organization for another?”

don’t let your teams become too balanced. you need people who you can depend on to really get the job done — true professionals who excel at their craft. good enough to get by shouldn’t be good enough.

every team needs a superstar. what are you doing to keep yours around?