Rainmakers – Who are they?

Rainmakers are the real difference makers for any business. They have an early and ongoing impact that produces sustainable results long after they are gone. They raise the bar and set the company records and high standards that keep the entire organization reaching and challenged.
They bring in and drive the highest revenues, acquire more new customers and sell the most products and services.
They build and maintain the stronger, lasting relationships that maximize repeat business and drastically increase customer loyalty.
They lead by example and exude the personal and professional character that others are willing to follow to achieve the highest goals.
They have a historical successful track record that is easily verifiable and quantifiable. They know what they did and how. They can speak specifically to the impact and results. Their background is filled with specific examples of multi instances and situations where they reached specific high goals that they set, or accepted the responsibility for that required thoughtful planning, utilization of all available resources, massive effort, overcoming obstacles, rebounding from mistakes, and making few of them.
These repeated successful results, in varying scenarios, provide clear evidence of a pattern of over achievement and transferable skills and competencies that are always found in Rainmakers.
They have the highest personal and professional integrity and values that others who’ve known them will be able to speak to and give examples of. That’s who they are and it’s also why and how they’ve made rain and made it pour consistently over time.
Former GE C.E.O., Jack Welch, implemented the best practice of forced ranking all GE employees in every one of their businesses utilizing their 9 block assessment on an annual basis. The highest ranking a person could receive was A1 (high performance, high potential). Those were GE’s “Rainmakers”.
In his book titled “Winning”, Mr. Welch said Rainmakers first have integrity, intelligence and maturity beyond their peers. They have energy and can energize others. They also have the edge it takes to make tough decisions and they can execute and get things done. He mentions passion is also a common denominator. He writes about four additional characteristics; authenticity; ability to see around corners i.e. vision; ability to surround themselves with people better and smarter than they are; finally heavy-duty resilience.
Mr. Welch still attributes the unprecedented success GE had under his 20 years of leadership to their relentless pursuit and commitment to hiring, developing, and retaining Rainmakers. To make and maintain room for them ongoing in their businesses, GE embraced the concept of Topgrading.
Topgrading is culling / eliminating the bottom 10% of their rankings annually and replacing them with those they evaluated to be Rainmakers in their area of expertise. The impact and result over 20 years is extraordinary. $450 BILLION increase in market cap establishing him as the most admired business leader in the world and some would still argue in all of corporate history. Now that’s a sure enough Rainmaker!
Greg Alexander, of EMC Corporation, was promoted to Area Vice President of Sales in late 2000 just as the tech boom was beginning to crash. He had no sales management experience at all. He inherited an area ranked 13th out of 15.
Greg read the book “Topgrading”, by Dr. Brad Smart, after seeing a review in an in-flight magazine article soon after his promotion. He spent $15,000 of his own money to enlist the help of Smart and Associates because the multi billion dollar corporate giant, EMC, whose stock price and sales were plummeting, offered no reimbursement. (Rainmakers are very resourceful and will find a way to get it done.)
Within 3 quarters Greg’s area leapt from 13 to number 1. Over a two year period his total revenues grew 140% while company wide revenues shrank 40% during the same period from $9 billion to just $5.4 billion. The stock dropped from $104 to $3.87. EMC laid off 1000 employees during that time but Greg was able to hire and save a lot of jobs by cleaning out the C players and relentlessly pursuing the Rainmakers.