Raise Up The Unknown

Take a deeper look around your organization. You’ll find there are standout employees who are always getting the attention of you and others in leadership.

They seem to be the rock stars of your organization. And you keep promoting them and rewarding them.

It’s what we do with those who perform and do well, right?

But I want to challenge you to begin digging deeper within the ranks of your organization.

There are team members who are virtually unknown. They do great work but receive minimum recognition and encouragement.

They’re not the standouts you typically look for. They’re quiet or not quite as popular. Yet they’re there, working away.

The recent Guardians Of The Galaxy movie really drove home this practice to me.

Marvel Studios took a huge risk with this new movie property. Marvel has been pushing the A-list of superheros.

We’ve seen Captain America, Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, and others grace the big screen. And then we get Guardians Of The Galaxy…

This rag-tag team of heroes that most people never heard of. Especially people who haven’t been into comic books in years.

Were you like me, wondering what the heck Marvel Studios was doing choosing characters such as the Guardians? Why would Marvel choose a band of relatively unknown heroes as their next major motion picture?

And yet Marvel has one of the summer’s largest successes on their hands with this movie.

How did Marvel do this? They took a group of characters that wasn’t known. They put them into an environment that was perfectly suited for them. They let the characters speak for themselves. They raised up the unknown.

So, how can you apply this strategy to your organization?

Look for under-appreciated workers: You have people working for you who are unrecognized yet they’re coming in every day to do great work. They’re working for the company and wanting to get things done.

It’s up to you to look for these people and raise them up. Give them recognition and a platform that they can shine on.

Help your unrecognized members speak up: Watching the previews for Guardians Of The Galaxy, you may have noticed the main characters had select promo spots where they talked and shared a story or two. We got to know the characters before the movie.

Couldn’t you do the same for these team members? Talk to them and get to know them. Then help them share their thoughts and ideas with the rest of the team.

Connect your team with others: Marvel has done a great job of connecting their characters to one another. From Hulk to Iron Man To Hawkeye to Black Widow and even to the Guardians, there’s connections all over the place.

Don’t let your unknown team members stay disconnected. Look for ways you can reach out and connect them to people inside and outside of the organization.

While the bulk of getting unknown team members the recognition they deserve, part of the responsibility lies on you, the leader. Leaders are meant to raise up new leaders and to find great talent.

This search requires us to search out those who may not be seen as great by others, though they are. Are you up to the challenge of raising up your unknown team members?

Question: Do you have a team member that’s unknown that could be great if given the proper leadership? How could you begin to recognize this person? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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