What’s wrong with this picture?

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Bubba Watson is a likable fellow and one heck of a golfer. Yesterday he became one of only sixteen golfers in the 80 year history of the Masters Tournament to win it twice. But you’d never know it from the New York Times headline this morning.

Spieth Falters and Youth Movement Stalls on Back Nine

Bill Pennington’s story underneath that headline was well written, fair, and insightful. But the headline jarred me. It ignores the top performer and what he accomplished. And it takes another excellent performance and highlights the less successful parts.

I’ve seen too many bosses do that too often. I’ve done it too often myself.

We tend to take a top performer for granted. It’s like we think he or she is doing well so they don’t need praise or recognition. That’s wrong from a performance standpoint. Helping top performers do even better is a strategy of top performing bosses. It’s also wrong from a human standpoint.

Too often we highlight the shortcomings of excellent and developing performers. Jason Spieth did indeed “falter.” Big deal. He was twenty years old and he was there. He led for awhile and he finished third. Most of the millions of golfers in the world would cut off body parts to do as well.

Boss’s Bottom Lines

Remember that your top performers need your love, attention, and support. Then act like it.

Remember that team members who are developing need your encouragement and praise at least as much as they need your instruction. Then act like it.

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