Veterans of watching and playing sports and working in business for a living, remember countless regime changes. The owner or senior leadership brings people into a room or connects with them online to make an announcement. The current boss is being replaced, which could mean, demoted, reassigned or terminated. They inform the workers that it was time for a change. They may deliver platitudes and say such things as, “they were a fine individual and have contributed much to the organization.” This decision may not be linked to performance, but it was time to go in another section. This unleashes quite a buzz within the organization. Both positive and negative comments are made about the person and the decision.
Let’s move our focus immediately from the person making the decision and the person being removed. Let’s focus our attention on the people who work for him or her. On Sports Center and the local news media, one by one former players are interviewed.” “He was an excellent manager, a player’s coach, a person of high intellect and sports acumen. He taught me everything I know. She took a chance on me, when no one else would.” The plaudits and accolades go on and on.
In business and in athletics, there may be factors beyond the coach or the leader, which influence performance. However, one point comes out loudly and clearly, if the person was so great and instrumental in career growth to receive such high praise for their leadership,” why didn’t the people perform better?”
The best way to show a coach or a leader what you think of them is through excellent performance on the field, in the field, on the court, in the office, on the plant floor or in the classroom. Results are the measure of a person’s effectiveness. Is it logical to assume that your performance is an indicator of how you felt about them? If they are not getting the best from you and it is not them, then it must be you.
If you are not delivering up to your capabilities, are you in the wrong job or somehow being hampered by underlying issues. Are you compromising the effectiveness of your team, and placing your job and your manager’s job at risk. Bear in mind, it is the role of the manager to diagnose and treat some of these issues. It is commonly said that somebody has to take the heat and the blame when the team does not perform up to its capability. The leader or coach is usually this individual. Managers cannot fire the whole team or replace every individual over night. Somebody must take the field, sit behind desks or operate the machinery. Often it is believed that firing the manager will jolt the team into an accelerated, escalated level of performance. Sometimes this works, but sometimes it doesn’t.
What can be done?
When you bemoan the fact that, “another one bites the dust or another one got away or another quality coach leaves, think of all of the assistance they gave to you. Remember the instructions and wise counsel. There may have been working above and beyond the call of duty to get you comfortable in your job. Think of their families, as you think of your own. Then I want you to inspire and motivate yourself to give your maximum effort. Energized and engage your team members into working to their highest levels of achievement. You are doing this for yourselves, the organization and the manager you claim to admire and respect.
Performing to your highest level can be very self-serving. It enables you to have a greater role in retaining the best manager for you. If you admire the quality leadership of this individual, make sure that when they leave the organization, is because of some of the reason other than the team not delivering its best. The next person who walks through the door, on to the court or field or into the plant, was selected by you as surely as if you were in the interview making get the job offer. Retaining the manager you want may also keep you from getting the manager from Hell who may be lurking in the shadows waiting the right moment to assume the position you provide for them.
You may know him on both sides of this issue. People have come up to them and stated how unfair it was that they were no longer in the role. They went on to say they will never forget the things they taught them and how it made them a better person or manager. These comments were appreciated and well received. I’m curious; if it meant so much to them, why didn’t it show up in their performance. Why did she choose this year to deliver below prior years? Did they do everything within their power to keep the coach? Are there things that they could’ve done differently that could have led to a different result?
The manager, coach or leader is a part of the team. They set the tone for the velocity of the team and their ability to scale higher mountains of expectations. The team can be compared to a chain and sometimes the manager is the weak link in the chain and should be replaced. Sometimes, there are other individuals on the team that are not living up to their potential and the manager must develop them or remove them from the organization. Failure of the manager to make the tough calls may be an indication that they are not strong enough and should be replaced. In situations where the manager is highly regarded for their character, vision and leadership skills, it is imperative that this bears fruit in the performance of the team.
Post blog assignment
The next time you see a news story, where a person is being removed from a job, you may want to ask yourself a few questions and look for the evidence provided to justify the action.
• What did they do to deserve the termination?
• What information was given to support the action?
• What did the people who worked for them have to say about them?
• Was there evidence of being a good person, but not strong enough to make the tough decisions?
• What information was provided about the performance of the team or the department?
• Did you get a sense that the team was performing below its capabilities?
If you want to keep the manager you have, either as your boss or within the organization, you can contribute to this by performing at the highest level of your capability. This may spare you the inconvenience of complaining about the organization or feeling guilty about your culpability in the demise of your beloved leader, manager or coach.
Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser