Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

The Four Kinds of Employees

It’s been my experience that there are four types of employees. Knowing the differences will guide you in terms of how you spend your time managing them. 

First up: All Stars

All Stars are employees who are undeniably great at their job. They perform well beyond expectations. They obliterate obstacles, outpace expectations, and produce results that leave you shaking your head. 

They don’t do this because you’re a great manager – they thrive under almost any manager. If you’re going to be honest, you’ll admit they’re great not because you’re a great manager, but because they’re simply a cut above everyone else and your job is to challenge them and then get out of their way. 

All Stars represent perhaps 2% of the workforce. If you have one be grateful (and be aware – they’re so good you won’t have them long. They’ll move upward and onward before long). 

Next up: Steady Performers

The vast majority of your team will made up of Steady Performers, who get the job done, meeting expectations and standards, day after day. While they may have a bad day or two or an occasional dip in productivity, they soon return to a predictable, quite satisfying level of performance. Keys to managing them well include making sure to do check-ins, clarifying goals and expectations, and finding ways to recognize and reward their performance. 

Third: Marginal Performers

Sometimes, a Steady Performer will become a Marginal Performer, consistently underperforming for several days or weeks. This might stem from personal issues they’re having outside work, a sense of burnout, issues with co-workers, or any number of other reasons. It’s critical that you spend time coaching and/or counseling a Marginal Performer. As I see it, by definition, the Marginal Performer can be turned around. You’ve already seen their potential, and you should be working with them to identify what’s gone wrong and how it can be repaired. 

Last up: Lost Causes

Sometimes, people become a Lost Cause. Like All Stars, they are a tiny percentage of the workforce – probably under 2% as well. They’ve given up. They no longer want to do the job well enough to meet expectations. They’ve quit but haven’t left. You know you have a Lost Cause when you realize you’ve been working harder to improve their performance than they have. If someone truly is a Lost Cause, the only appropriate action for the manager is to facilitate their transfer or termination. 

What’s this mean for you?

Be grateful if you have an All Star. Be as hands-on as needed, but hands-off as much as possible, for Steady Performers. Be actively engaged in coaching and creating performance improvement plans (formal or informal) for Marginal Performers. Waste no further time trying to rehabilitate Lost Causes. Help them move on. 

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.