“You’ve always been a high achiever—top of your class, captain of your sports teams, star performer at work. Now, you’re going to be managing (I prefer leading) a team of high-performers in a division of your company that everyone’s buzzing about. You’re confident that you can navigate this new challenge with characteristic success.”
You’re pumped. You set clear goals for yourself and targets for the division. You’re well aware that you’ll need to rely on your emotional intelligence skills to understand and work through your new team’s dynamics. You’re focused on achieving your goals and getting results… but before long, you’ve got problems. Your team doesn’t seem to be on board with your plan and they’re not delivering. Worse, they seem to be shutting you out. In desperation, you go to a few trusted mentors who tell you:
“You’ve inherited the cream of the crop. I’m not sure they even really need a manager, they’re that good and that motivated.”
“These are our stars. You noticed, I’m sure, that you’re the third new manager appointed in the past two years?”
It turns out it’s not so easy to lead ultra-smart high achievers — especially when you’re one of them.