MAKE THEM FEEL I MPORTANT.
As TS Eliot noted: “Most of the trouble in this world is caused by people wanting to be important.” And the reason is that others fail to recognise them. Fairness is not treating everyone the same, but as they deserve to be treated. Every organisation has high- and lowpotential employees, but only competent managers can identify them. If you fail to recognise your employees’ creative potential, they will go somewhere where they feel more valued.
A f inal caveat: Even when you are able to manage your creative employees, it doesn’t mean that you should let them manage others. Natural innovators are rarely gifted with l eadership sk i l l s. There is a profile for good leaders and a profile for creative people, and they’re quite different. Steve Jobs had better relationships with gadgets than people, and most Google engineers are utterly disinterested in management. One of the reasons for the rapid plateau of start-ups is that their founders tend to remain in charge. They should take a cue from Mark Zuckerberg, who brought in Sheryl Sandberg to make up for his own leadership deficits. Research confirms the stereotypical view that corporate innovators – intrapreneurs – exhibit many of the psychopathic characteristics that prevent them from being effective leaders: They’re rebellious, anti-social, selfcentred and often too low in empathy to care about the welfare of others. But manage them well, and their inventions will delight us all.
Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is a professor of business psychology at University College London, vice president of research and innovation at Hogan Assessment Systems, and co-founder of metaprofiling.com.
© 2013 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.