The difference between a good leader and a great one can be the difference between success and failure; meeting your goals or missing them. Growing, moving sideways, or slipping backwards.

Great leaders are often great motivators. They get people to give more, push harder… willingly.

Here are three people problems they handle differently.


1) They Don’t Fall Prey To The Peter Principle

Anything that works will be used in more and more ways, pushed further and further, until it fails. This is a basic observation. It’s also the foundation of the Peter Principle.

The Peter Principle extends this thinking to employees, specifically their performance and promotion. A leader who promotes based on an employee’s performance in their existing position is following the Peter Principle. They will continue to promote each employee in their charge until they can no longer perform. Until they fail.

Good leaders leverage the Peter Principle.

Great leaders promote differently. Great leaders restructure for best performance. They assign leadership tasks to the person who will best deliver. They promote based on who will perform the new job the best. They honor a new truth – leadership is less about control and more about influence. They use their influence to offer support, eliminate barriers, and drive success.


2) They Quickly Catch An Employee Who Has Hit Their Ceiling

A great leader knows the signs… “I can’t get so-and-so aligned on Project X.” “I can’t get anyone to listen.” “We have to keep pushing the deadline back because _______[insert endless excuses here]________.”

Or, they’ve skipped the excuses, and jumped right to dumping the work and responsibility onto others. Communication is broken, progress has stopped, everyone is frustrated.

A great leader recognizes the real problem behind these symptoms – an employee who has hit their ceiling. An employee who has been pushed too far, or too hard.

It’s time for quick action. And, a great leader steps in and takes it, without hesitation.


3) They Are Expert Bench Builders

Great leaders focus on talent as a whole. They don’t simply fill seats. They build a bench – just like great sports teams – that’s strong in every position.

Sports fans know a strong bench is as important, or sometimes more important, than having a strong starting line up. Many business leaders know this too. Having someone ready to step up and step in can make all the difference.


Do you have projects that are stuck? Teams not delivering? Goals being missed? Explore these three areas with some of your great leaders, and then watch how quickly you get back on track.