better business leader

Why Star Players Make Bad Managers

When an employee performs extremely well, earning plenty for your company, it may be tempting to promote them to manager. After all, they might encourage others to succeed, right? However, a recent study by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that maybe you shouldn’t.

A Bad Boss in the Making

In order to move up the pay ladder in most companies, generally a person must be promoted to management positions. And the role of manager seems like the perfect reward for that one great employee. It comes with higher pay, greater responsibility to help that person grow, and more perks. And, some employers may hope, one high-flying team member can share those skills with a whole group, increasing productivity overall.

However, not everyone excels at managing other people. Sometimes that star employee is good at leading a team for just a short time, but you may see a decline in performance if they take over long-term. Also, though they may be able to make friends and work together, they may not show the empathy and desire to help others that is essential for a manager.

Should you end up with a person like this in a management position, you may find you’ve got a manager who dislikes their team, neglects the other employees, and/or is clueless about how to take a group in the right direction. Trust between members of a department may fall, and productivity certainly will. That seemingly great reward, in the end, will cost your business.

What to Do Instead

Want to promote someone to manager? Don’t do it based only on their closed deals or their productivity. Find out who has the drive for their whole team to succeed. Learn who would be helpful, rather than potentially harmful, in a conflict or when an employee is under stress. This kind of person may not be your star employee, but they may make a great manager. That same study found employees and sales thrived under managers who weren’t the top performers.

Along with promoting the right people, rather than just the best salesmen, you may want to examine the structure of your business. Help your company grow a professional career path, not just a managerial stream. Employees have a wide variety of skills that your company can benefit from. Provide more opportunities for motion and growth for those who do well but aren’t suited to become managers. This will help the right people become managers and everyone else stay invested in helping your company grow. And that, we all know, is vital to the longevity of a company, not just star players.

What You Should Know About Millennials in the Workplace

At the turn of the millennium, Millennials began entering the workforce, and now they’re taking it over. Experts say that they’ll make up half the workforce by 2020. But due to misconceptions and culture clashes between Boomers or Gen X-ers and Millennials, some employers or businesses may be wary about hiring this generation, much less training them to become future managers. Part of this is due to rumors about what Millennials want in a workspace, such as bean bags and no walls. Let’s dismiss these misconceptions and take a second look at those “lazy Millennials”–and maybe even get them on track to run your business one day.


It’s true that Millennials are used to instant gratification and instant results, per the stereotype. But you can use this as a force for good within your office. Millennials’ desire not to waste time can help get meetings back on track, get creative solutions sooner, and innovate processes within your building.

Sometimes, this means allowing Millennials to bend the rules and get creative. Some older Gen X managers insist on Millennials following the same rules and “waiting their turn,” as the managers once had to do. But Millennials want the challenge of making the world better and more efficient. Give this to them, and you won’t be sorry you allowed them to bend a few older rules.

Millennials and Gen Z also don’t always see the need for face time and being tethered to an office. The younger generations grew up on wifi and digital flexibility. That bred the flexibility to get information from anywhere and at any time. They feel that much of an office’s requirements can be met via email, text, video conference, and conference calls.

Though Boomers and Gen X may see this request as another demand for personal comfort over professionalism, it can actually benefit your company with efficiency you might not have had working off of older methods.

Meaningful Work

Millennials want what they do to matter, whether it’s the meetings, their day-to-day tasks, or their job description overall. Because they grew up around terrorism and violence, they do live more in the moment. As a result, they search for meaning in their job and career. If you want to hang onto a Millennial employee, don’t let them feel that they’re easily replaced. They don’t have to feel like the most special person in the office by any means. But if they do not feel challenged, they will leave your business.

Culture of Respect

One of the top reasons Millennials leave a business is because they don’t feel valued or respected. Their one-on-one time with a manager goes overlooked, they’re mistreated in some way, or they feel they’re too replaceable. Millennials also don’t leave a company; they leave because of managers and other people they work with daily. Smart leaders adapt their company culture and dismiss or train managers who will only drive off their younger workforce.

Millennials will respond better to mentoring than discipline. While some managers and CEOs might find it hard to adapt, the ones that do will find themselves creating powerful manager-employee relationships. These create trust in the company, better team members, and a more positive company culture.

While hiring and training better managers certainly benefits Millennials, this culture of respect and valuing your employees will impact the rest of your business.


Getting Millennials on board, if you haven’t already, may seem risky to some CEOs set in their ways. But the best way to improve your business is to take risks and take a step forward. And Millennials, despite the stereotypes, are a risk worth taking.

How to Limit Distractions

Distractions are everywhere. They are on your desk, on your phone, and even sitting across from you. That’s not even the worst part – they make you less productive at work. Dr. Gloria Mark of the University of California has found that it takes an average of 23 minutes to resume a task after distraction occurs. Twenty-three minutes! How many times do you get distracted each work day? At least two to three times? That alone is one hour of wasted time according to Dr. Mark. Ready to limit your distractions? Here’s how:

Limit Screen Time.

That includes your smartphone, your smartwatch and even your computer – if applicable to your industry. Stop watching your phone for text messages or phone calls and stop responding to Facebook messages and Instagram comments every time your phone beeps. Silence your cell phone, shut down your smartwatch and get back to work. These little distractions occur often and have the ability to completely derail your productivity.

It might not be reasonable for your job to completely shut down these personal devices all day. That’s okay! But if you’ve ever said “I’m just going to check my email really quick” and 20 minutes later you’re still replying to people, you need help. Set times, reasonable times, in your work day when you can take take a few minutes and respond to emails and missed calls.

Maybe you can get away with only checking your email two to three times per day. Or maybe you can have an automated response for text messages to let people know when you will be available and to try calling back at that time. However you choose to limit your screen time, start doing it now.

Try the Pomodoro Technique.

If you can’t make the time-setting technique work, try the pomodoro technique.  Work the hardest you can work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. This works for a lot people because it lets you start something knowing there is an end (and reward!) in mind.

Don’t get discouraged with a seemingly never-ending project. Try out the pomodoro way and take short breaks to relax and rejuvenate yourself.

Make a To-Do List.

Become one of those make-a-list and check-off-as-you-go people. They know how to achieve satisfaction one step at a time. Keep your list manageable, concise and current. Start each work day with the 5×5 Rule. Determine what the five most important tasks of the day are and do your best to complete each of them by 5 p.m. Check off as you go and relish in the satisfaction.

Clean Up Your Workspace.

Remove any unnecessary clutter from your workspace. Why? The less stuff your eyes see means less visual stress, and less visual stress means less distraction. It’s that simple.

Keep Your Internal Distractions in Check.

Internal emotions such as hunger, thirst, tiredness and worry can affect your mental capacity and attention span. Go to work well-rested, full and hydrated. Don’t forget to eat a nutritious energy-boosting lunch!


Distractions are hard, but it’s even harder if you need help maximizing your marketing efforts and you’re being interrupted too often. Need help? Partner up with Divvy. Divvy helps franchisees stay on-brand and focused when it comes to marketing. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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