Would you rather be a superstar or a rock star?
In Kim Scott's book, Radical Candor, she differentiates between two types of employees you might encounter on your team.
The ROCK STARS are stable. They love their job. They're content with their work, but perhaps aren't gunning for the next promotion.
The SUPERSTARS want, need, and perhaps thrive on growth. New challenges. New opportunities. New ways to challenge the status quo.
Most leaders love to have SUPERSTARS on their teams. People with loads of energy and lots of ideas.
The problem, though, is that by focusing so much on the SUPERSTARS we can fail to recognize the vital contribution of the ROCK STARS.
nother issue is that we don't know how to honor SUPERSTARS without a promoting them to managers, even though management might not be the role for them.
As Scott writes,
Rock stars are just as important to a team's performance as superstars. Stability is just as important as growth. The right mix of each will change over time, but you'll always need some of each.
Yesterday, as we dove into this chapter in the book, I invited the book circle participants to take a closer look at their own career trajectory.
The mapped out their careers and pinpointed when they were performing as SUPERSTARS with a high growth trajectory, and when they were performing as ROCK STARS. They looked at the context for each, and the overall patterns they noticed.
I also invited them to think about how they treated the 'other.' When they were more rock-like, what thoughts, feeling or judgements did they have toward the superstars? And vice versa.
I had several ahas myself:
1) I tend toward superstar-dom when I take on a new role, but eventually become more rock-like, before jumping again on the super star path.
2) For much of my career I bought into the myth that superstar-dom was better, and perhaps I maybe, just maybe, looked down at rock stars, for merely being rock stars.
3) There is a direct connection between my star-dom and how I approach all projects. Often with lots of energy and gusto, then a bit of a flat line, and finally a strong finish.
At this point in your career, would you consider yourself a ROCK STAR or a SUPERSTAR? (Remember, they are both equally important.)
P.S. I have a visual summary of this chapter. If you're interested, feel free to ping me.
Originally posted on LinkedIn with comments.
Reed Deaper Not Faster
I am Theresa Destrebecq.