Five things people hate about Top Performers

ID-10069444Feeling appreciated for our great achievements is a crucial part of our well-being. Appreciation gives us a feeling of gratification and fulfillment. It gives a meaning to our lives. It motivates us to excel.

I have come across many bright and talented go-getters who want their work to speak for them. They believe that their excellent performance should inevitably draw appreciation of their peers and managers. In spite of making outstanding contributions, many remain unsure why they do not get enough appreciation. They wonder if people really value them.

The feeling of being unappreciated is one on the top reasons why people quit their jobs. Unfortunately, many of them soon find themselves in similar situations in their new organization.

So what really drives appreciation? Isn’t hard work and great results enough for being appreciated?

Based on my experience, here are top five things people hate about high performers –

  1. Overly ambitious – Being ambitious is a good thing and it drives people to excel. However, people generally do not appreciate someone who is overly ambitious. Watch out how you come across. If you are seen as too ambitious, people may see you as a rival and not a team player. Your team will doubt your motive. You would be seen as someone who is ready to do anything to move ahead. You could be labeled as someone who uses others for your own purpose. You might achieve excellent results, but will lose the respect of your team.
  2.  My way or the highway – Look at how you achieve your great results. If your approach is always to push your ideas, then you would be seen as stubborn – who does not want to experiment and learn. Organizations usually appreciate people with learning agility. They like employees who are curious to learn new things and have broad interests and new perspectives. It’s not about achieving great results but how you achieve them.
  3.  Lone wolf – Have you built a collaborative relationship with your peers? Do you reach out to support them regularly? If the answer is no, it’s unlikely that you will be appreciated for your individual excellence. Check if you are too focused on achieving your targets that you have become insensitive towards your peers. Appreciation comes when people feel that you have helped them achieve their goals.
  4. Assume that boss is a block head – How is your comfort level with your boss? Do you respect your boss? Do you know what he/she wants from you? Do you help your boss to succeed? If you do not have high regard for your boss and usually get tempted to fight back, it’s unlikely that your high performance will get much appreciated. A cordial relationship with your boss is important for your success. Watch out if you have a problem dealing with authority.
  5. I’m legend! – If you constantly brag about your great achievements and give more importance to your achievements over team’s accomplishment, it’s unlikely that anyone will appreciate your contributions. People appreciate modesty and humility. Appreciation comes for those who achieve great results without unnecessary noise.

When working in a team, it’s not always about your top results that draw appreciation. It’s also about your team spirit, self-awareness, emotional intelligence and humility that count.


Raj Karunakaran is a HR professional and a certified coach by Neuroleadership Group. He specializes in organizational development, leadership coaching and business partnering. Raj has more than 15 years of experience with organizations like Royal Philips, Fidelity Investments, AstraZeneca Plc, Tech Mahindra. He currently heads HR for Philips Healthcare sector at Philips Innovation Campus, Bangalore.


(Image courtesy :


  • Arun baboo says:

    Very true. Somebody need to be street smart to deal the points you listed. I think Behavioural correction will also help.

  • Rakshita Dwivedi says:

    very interesting pointers. Infact they are handy tips to understand and set expectations with HiPo.

Leave a Reply