Danielle was an account executive with Forman and Company, a professional services firm that conducted high-end research, primarily for Fortune 500 companies. During her career, she had sold products and services ranging from time-shares to computer software and consulting – all with outstanding results. At some point in her career, she migrated from “rainmaker” to “game changer” status.

As contrasted from rainmakers – the name given to top salespeople – game changers redefine success. If a firm’s rainmakers typically bring in $1,500,000 of new business in a given year, a game changer might bring in $2 million or more, a significant disparity. This is the kind of person who makes a CEO sit up, take notice and inquire, “What is this person doing that none of our other successful sales people are doing?” This was precisely the case with Danielle. The senior leaders at Forman sought her advice on cultivating client relationships. In executive level sales, she had no peer.

Several years ago, Danielle became ill and missed six months of work. Because she was not productive during this time, Forman terminated her. Their rationale: She was not being productive nor could she guarantee, because of the nature of her illness, when she would (or could) return to work.

During her short time at Forman, Danielle booked over $3 million in new business IN ABOUT NINE MONTHS. My questions: As she was their leading sales person (out of about 250) during her first full year, what would her results have been during the next ten years? What did Forman lose in new business over that extended period because of their short sightedness? What statement did they make about what, and who, they valued? In their effort to appease marginal performers or make some ridiculous statement, did they arbitrarily cut off their collective nose to spite their face?

Too many companies and leaders go down this road. They are willing to appease the masses, while not recognizing and cultivating game changers. If you want to be successful, heed this lesson: You must covet your game changers.

Copyright 2011 Rand Golletz. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Rand Golletz is the managing partner of Rand Golletz Performance Systems, a leadership development, executive coaching and consulting firm that works with senior corporate leaders and business owners on a wide range of issues, including interpersonal effectiveness, brand-building, sales management, strategy creation and implementation. For more information and to sign up for Rand's free newsletter, The Real Deal, visit http://www.randgolletz.com.