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High Performer vs. High Potential: Balancing Your Ideal Work Self

High Performer vs. High Potential: Balancing Your Ideal Work Self

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If you’ve been feeling caught between being recognized as a high performer or high potential employee, then you’ve most likely checked off some of the boxes that land you in both. However, demonstrating to your boss how you’re one or the other could be the right move in getting that long-awaited promotion, taking on more responsibility, or solidifying your spot among the leaders of your organization.

High performance & high potential, what does that mean?

Identifying where you fall in the matrix of high potential and high performers can give you clarity on what areas need improvement before taking the next step in your career.

As a high potential employee, your responses to challenges, tasks, and opportunities are proactive and you have an interest for growing beyond your skillset. Plus, a high potential employee has the capacity to shine in leadership roles because they share the drive for reaching new heights and ambition for company growth.

Meanwhile, high-performing employees, when compared to average employees, usually set the pace for consistent and outstanding results. If you are a high performer, that means you can take direction well and let your high caliber results do the talking. Though a high performer may not envision a leadership position, their value to an organization is measured by the quantity and quality of their results, which can later trigger a promotion towards a management role.

Working both sides of the potential and performance coin will help you find the right professional balance for success and help you stand out above the rest.

Strengthen your performance

Performance isn’t just one note, and there is some fine-tuning to be done before recognizing what areas of your performance make you an asset to your company. Being a high-performer, it’s essential for you to be in an engaging environment so you can sustain and reach higher levels of professional growth.

Having the right incentives and goals in place to meet and exceed expectations is what your company should provide in your career path if they want to foster your performance. However, there are some steps you can take to boost your performance as well.

– Network with purpose

High performers take the time to master the art of their craft and take inspiration from those who have done so already. Buddy up with a fellow high performer and see how their style can help you improve yours.

– Lean into learning

Gaining knowledge about aspects of your industry and company can better prepare you for present and future shifts in work. Take the personal initiative to know more about your company’s goals so that you can reap the rewards on a professional level.

– Examine the challenge

Surely you’re already looking for bigger and better ways to improve your output, but expressing why areas of improvement are needed is important in showing the creativity and problem-solving skills that factor into discussions of promotion.

Nurture your potential

Setting the standard for high potentials within an organization is no easy feat, but if your mind is fixed on company success, then you’re already halfway there. Being in an environment that aims to develop your potential is a must for tracking your accomplishments and goals and being recognized for your efforts.

So now that your eyes are set on a higher prize, there are steps you can take in gaining control of growth opportunities.

– Ask big questions, give bigger responses

Establishing an interest in company strategy and decision-making demonstrates your willingness to take on bigger challenges the company may be facing. Using your intuitiveness to take steps in solving these problems is the key to being seen as a future leader.

– Trade comfort for opportunity

Don’t sit on the sidelines tackling safe projects. A high potential employee can show that they’re a reliable resource for any task by extending their expertise and accepting challenges just outside their comfort zone.

– Share your strengths

Suppose you’ve established a foundation for long-term productivity and success within your company. In that case, the next step is helping your team members secure a similar structure for their growth and accomplishments. How you share your insight with others reflects your capacity to lead and positively change the direction of a company.

Putting the right foot first

Being identified as a high performer or high potential employee can help the leaders of an organization create a work system that fits your needs,  but being recognized as one, the other, or both is in your hands. Understand your personal and professional goals so that the visibility of your efforts doesn’t go unnoticed or unrewarded.

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