The Coach’s Dilemma

Photo Credit: Thomas Leuthard via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Thomas Leuthard via Compfight cc

I can still remember the first time I volunteered to help coach a little league baseball team, which was 30 years ago while I was in college. The kids were around 13 years old and were learning the finer points of the game. Not surprisingly, I became attached to some of the players, not because they were necessarily good players but because they were good kids. It is only natural when you are a leader to like the people who follow your lead. That is fine when you are coaching a little league baseball team but can cause issues when you are CEO.

If you believe like I do that people are by far the most important asset in a business, you probably spend a lot of time coaching your employees. A good CEO must be able to separate his or her positive personal feelings for an employee from their evaluation of how well the person plays their position. I often visit with CEOs who know they need to make a major change in their business but think they can do it with their existing team. Making key additions to an executive team is often a very effective way of initiating change. In my businesses I have made it a habit of adding a new executive every one to two years, sometimes replacing a weaker player and sometimes augmenting the team.

One role of the CEO is to provide the best possible human resources to the company, giving everyone the best chance for victory. Don’t allow your personal affection for your team limit their chance to win.

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