This Isn’t Your Job

Your job is not to keep the peace.

Your job is to keep your top-performers.

peanutbutterKeep them engaged. Happy. Productive. And above all, keep them from answering the phone when the headhunters call.

Yet, I see leaders try to keep the peace by giving out mediocre bonuses to all their employees. They spread it like peanut butter! Instead of employing differentiation and giving it to the folks that matter most. (The ones who–if they left–you’d cry yourself to sleep at night.)

I know that’s like choosing your favorite kid. It ain’t easy.

Who said that leading was easy?

But if you’re doing your job (in a low unemployment rate), you do everything you can to lock in your top-performers. Which means giving them a disproportionate amount of any bonus there is to go around. Remember: what’s more important to them than the actual amount is the clear message (from your mouth, in-person, with a heartfelt handshake) that they received far more than 90% of the organization.

And more differentiation…

Give them your time and attention. Teach and develop them. Instead of allowing your bottom performers to suck up all your hours.

Reward them with the best assignments, clients, projects, and stretch projects.

If you’re going to go thru all the trouble of hiring Rockstars, then differentiation is your job.

What do you think?

Never settle,


Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman

Jeff Hyman launched his recruiting career at Heidrick & Struggles and Spencer Stuart, the preeminent global executive search firms. Today, he’s Chief Talent Officer at Chicago-based Strong Suit Executive Search. Along the way, Jeff created four companies, backed by $50 million in venture capital. He currently teaches the MBA course about recruiting at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and hosts the five-star Strong Suit Podcast. Jeff has been featured by Inc., Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg, and other media outlets. He holds a master’s degree from Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from The Wharton School.

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