The Difference Between Big Dogs and Top Performers

Sep 18, 2009

Top performers deliver the goods, and play well with others. Big Dogs deliver the goods, and suck the air out of the room with their need for recognition.Top performers know that lateral relationships with their peers are at least as important as vertical relationships with their team. Big Dogs build a personality cult (based on loyalty to them) with their team, and exclude others.

Top performers build your business, Big Dogs build your revenue.

Top performers delegate, build benchstrength in their team, and have a succession plan in place. Big Dogs try to make themselves personally indispensable.

Big Dogs resent change, hinder progress, ignore directives, plunder talent, drain other people’s energies and passive-aggressively sandbag opportunities for growth. Top performers look for ways to continuously improve, ask for help when needed, lift others and offer encouragement and help.

Big Dogs have sweat equity, because they built the business for you, back in the day. They rescued lost deals, made angry customers happy, opened doors, sold more business than you thought possible and stayed incredibly loyal though hard times. Your top performers were hired in from the outside, don’t quite get the culture, think they know more than they do on ocassions,and don’t have the long history, loyalty, and sweat equity your Big Dogs do.

Nonetheless, your long-term growth and scalability – the possibility of building a predictably successful business – rests with your top performers, not your Big Dogs.

The challenge with top performers is in retaining them. The challenge with Big Dogs is finding the courage to let them go.