Do you have some people who have high potential but don't seem to be reaching it? Do you have others who are outstanding but show signs of being capable of world-class contribution? Here's what you can do.

1. Find them a mentor. I'm not talking about official mentor programs. That approach usually wind up being a chore, or worse, for both parties.

Instead use your skill as a matchmaker to find and introduce the two. The mentor must have an affinity for the mentee (what an awful word--what is the right one to use here?) The best approach is to find a senior person who can see a little of themselves in the junior person. Just make the introduction and speak of your desire for these two to work together. A good mentoring relationship is not an official one. It's in place because it works for both people.

2. Ask a person who is not performing at their best what they would like to do. Sometimes a good person is just stuck in the wrong job.

3. Look carefully at an under-performer's boss. In many cases the boss is doing the opposite of inspiration and causing people to quit or retire in place. If that's the case then it's the boss who needs a mentor or a coach.

4. Get a good coach that matches the needs of the person. You can use an internal or external coach. Just be sure the coach you engage can speak honestly and challenge the person they are coaching. A good business coach is a lot like a good football coach. They celebrate when you give your all and they call you on it when you don't. They don't let you make up reasons why something didn't work. They look at the actual reasons and help you get to work on those.

5. Once you have a good match, make sure the coaching occurs often enough (once week to start) and goes on long enough (three months minimum) to have a real effect.