Front-Line Management 101: Rock Stars vs. Super Stars

Even though most Super Stars know how important they are to their organization, they never use it against the company. Rock Stars, on the other hand, know their knowledge is vital, and they use it to their advantage as much as possible.

Super Stars are the ultimate team players. If taken care of, Super Stars are the most loyal employees; they know their job, as well the job of several others. Even though most Super Stars know how important they are to their organization, they never use it against the company.

Rock Stars, on the other hand, can be team leaders, but many times choose the easier (and more self-serving) path of taking care of #1—themselves. They know their knowledge is vital, and they use it to their advantage as much as possible.

To avoid an organization overrun with Rock Stars, you need to:

  1. Determine if anyone on your team is the only person with knowledge of a specific area.
  2. If so, build a plan for a backup, develop a playbook, create a training plan, set up a bench of individuals who can grow in the job.
  3. Explain your plan going forward to have back-ups—to help Rock Stars and everyone else.
  4. Encourage Rock Stars to become Super Stars—to become team players in the process. If the Rock Stars continue to challenge you, you may be forced to hold them accountable: Either they train others, or they have to leave your organization.
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