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Spotting High Achievers vs High Performers

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

As a leader, ultimately we want to have a high-performing team. While it would be lovely to have everyone who is a high performer, it's likely that not all of you team is at the same level.

Some perform beyond your expectations. Some achieve more than their targets or KPIs. Some hardly do their jobs at all - MVO (Minimum Viable Output)

So, how do you spot high achievers and high performers within your company who may be flying under the radar? Here are characteristics to look out for.

High Achievers

These people are ambitious, goal-focused and self-disciplined individuals who are driven by a strong desire to accomplish meaningful targets and goals. They exhibit these characteristics:

  1. Take charge attitude.

  2. 2.Strong long-term focus and self-discipline.

  3. Visionary

  4. Internal locus of control

  5. Go-to person within the team, company and even the industry

  6. Positive mindset

  7. Action orientated.

They have a “ready, fire, aim” mindset instead of the usual “ready, aim, fire” outlook. This mindset is great for getting things done and keeps moving to boost its momentum. If your team is operating as Business As Usual this mindset can lead to some problems, particularly around processes.

High Performers

These people are elite talents. The term “high performer” is typically associated with athletes who are driven to show exceptional output in their chosen field. However, if you sort out your employees according to the 9-box talent matrix then you will see that you have people who are not only goal-oriented but solution-oriented as well. These are your high performers. They exhibit these characteristics:

  1. Incredibly positive

  2. Growth mindset

  3. Achievement orientated

  4. “Energizer Bunny"

  5. Excellent internal compass

  6. Willingness to go the extra mile

  7. Team players

  8. Seek networking opportunities

  9. High level of self-awareness.

High Performers are conscious of their own competence and incompetence. They know what they don’t know and they know what they need to do to fill the gaps. They follow their curiosity to up-level and upskill through professional and personal development opportunities.

Take a moment to notice if your employees exhibit the characteristics of high achievers or high performers. Once you identify these talents, then you can start creating a plan to maximise their potential and contribute fully to your team and increase retention for the long term.

Until next time, Eat the Frog, Get the Worm, and Be the Bird


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