I know that Wayne is ok…

Time To Read: Just under Three Minutes

Three Actions – all in bold

But as he hit the turf the other night during Manchester United’s game against Bayern Munich, English hearts sank. Not only is the striker arguably the strongest member of the national team, but he is also a talismanic figure. The same can happen in business, and the morale of a team can be seriously affected by the loss of a star performer. So how do you motivate a team when a key person leaves, or retires?

Motivate the really key people in your teams, so they don’t leave. Have a succession plan in place, in case they do, or retire. And focus on unlocking the strengths in all of your people, so you are less dependent on key individuals.

People have two main drivers in work as in life – to be valued and to have freedom (feel empowered). “Valued” does not just equal money, and real empowerment happens when people are clear what they are free to do, within clear boundaries.

Have successors identified for every leader or key team member. These can be internal or external – just agree who they are, let them know and start to prepare them.

Competency based anything never work, and just bores people silly. Focus instead on unlocking the skills and talent that your people already have. Put your teams together on this basis – different, complementary strengths – you will deliver more, faster, and be less dependent on any one “star.”

Finally, keep in touch with people who leave, that you want back – the grass is not always greener, and the cheapest and most effective way to recruit is through people who have left you in the past – just don’t bring them back in a more senior role!

Then, if one of your star performers hurts their ankle, you will be well ready.

With my love and best wishes


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