How Do I Manage a Just-OK Performer?


I manage a team of directors, who in turn manage a team of managers/associates. Most of the directors are high-performing, but one is a solid B player. She meets most of her goals but never stretches like the other directors. How should I think about managing her? Should organizations make room for B players?

At first glance, many people — including myself, earlier in my career — would consider this an easy question to answer: You have to move the B player out.

But it’s not really so simple. Sometimes the people who are just okay at their core jobs contribute a lot of value to a company in other ways.

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