High achievers are ambitious, goal-focused, self-disciplined individuals, who are driven by a strong personal desire to accomplish meaningful, important goals.
According to David McClelland’s Human Motivation Theory , there are three main motivators that determine who we are: the needs for achievement, affiliation and power. With high achievers, the dominant driver is the need for achievement.
There are several ways to spot the high achievers on your team:
- They take charge easily and display natural leadership qualities – often helping fellow team members achieve their goals.
- They have strong long-term focus and self-discipline . High achievers like to set a goal, and then work persistently towards it until it has been completed.
- High achievers frequently have an internal locus of control . They believe that they, and they alone, are responsible for where they’ll end up in life.
- They like to be the “go to” person in their team, company or industry, and are willing to put in the effort needed to develop their expertise – often pursuing professional development on their own.
- High achievers typically have a positive mind-set. They see challenging projects as opportunities, not threats. Their positive outlook helps them overcome setbacks and stick with a task until it’s complete.
In short, they’re great! However, managing this type of person can sometimes be challenging.
For example, high achievers can be perfectionists . In some cases, their desire to complete a task to perfection can actually limit productivity. They may also find it difficult to ask for assistance when they need it, and they are often reluctant todelegate tasks (believing that no one can do them as well as they can).
Some high achievers worry that others will feel intimidated by their success, or will have unrealistic expectations of what they can achieve. Other high achievers can worry that they can’t live up to their reputation forever, and can start to avoid projects whose success is uncertain. As a result, these people can come to favor the routine and familiar over challenge and personal growth, which can result in their career growth reaching a plateau.
Other high achievers may be intensely competitive – some competitive spirit can drive a team to greater heights, but too much competition can cause stress and harm group morale.
(To read the full article about High-Achievers, visit MindTools here )