I had this experience a few weeks ago where I just had a dredge of a week to work through – Meetings, Status Updates, Presentations, Designs, etc, etc – you name it I did it. Lots of concurrent projects going on across everything in my life and it literally felt like I was bailing out a boat while water was coming in at an insurmountable rate to what I was bailing.
Everyone has these weeks, I’m saying nothing new in this regard. However, while I was dealing with this maelstrom of tasks and people, this one person I work with was staying on top of everything and in fact doing a much better job when compared to some of the people that really had to work, so I pushed off meeting with her until the end of the week. And not just the end of the week, but the very end of the week, Friday at 4pm where my energy was in the negative zone. I had, had no time to prepare to meet with her and halfway through realized I wasn’t going to be able to give her the help she needed.
When I left that meeting, I felt utterly horrible, here is this great resource on our team that’s driving towards the finish line, making a great impact and needs my help for the last 10 yards whilst I am trying to help people you are the 50 yard line. So while I focused on the people at the 50 yard line, I gave her no support to go further. When I met with her the following week (very early in the week), I came prepared to walk through everything with her and give her that last 10 yards she needed and from there she need another 20 yards (you can’t beat that kind of Return on Investment).
We sometimes lean towards focusing on the trouble people (and/or kids), giving them more energy to get them up to speed with everyone else. And this is good and should not be ignored. But if we don’t focus on the high-performing, those that are ahead of the curve and pushing themselves not for monetary gain but for their own desire to do well in their field of interest, and yes for lack of a better word “the good kids”, then we are also not helping them reach their full potential, leaving them stranded where they are, waiting for everyone to catch up and then worse, losing interest in what they are doing.
I’m not saying focus all your energies on them – I am saying don’t forget to give equal parts to them as well – they need your guidance in a different way. The Good Kids don’t always ask for help, because they see what you are doing and hold off a bit, that’s where you need to observe them and jump in with – “Hey, how’s it going…” and make the time for them.