If the Shoe Fits: Why to Draw the Line

If the Shoe Fits: Why to Draw the Line

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mFounders are much like football (and other sports) coaches when it comes to managing their people.

Coaches are notorious for accepting/ignoring bad behavior, especially from key players, in the name of winning.

And while that may work in the very short term, longer-term results usually plunge and indirect collateral damage escalates.

Founders often hire “stars” and cut them the same kind of slack when they act out, with far more serious effects.

In fact, tolerating the bad attitude and actions of a few stars can either spread to the whole team or tear it apart and destroy it.

Not all coaches turn a blind eye.

With reports of poor grades, cyberbullying and attitude problems, the coaches were unwilling to support the declining behavior of their team. So just before the homecoming game, they suspended all 80 players.

Doing that meant forfeiting the game, but what then?

They gave every player the opportunity of earning their way back on the team.

Head coach Matt Labrum reset the standard of acceptable behavior. He clearly articulated what was needed, provided support to develop the vital skills, and raised the bar on what was expected. Players knew exactly what choices were required to remain on the team.

Notice they weren’t just told to improve or stop X, they were given clear goals, the support to achieve them and were held accountable.

No company succeeds based only on its so-called stars.

Just as “it takes a village to raise a child” it takes a team to build a successful company.

It also takes a founder willing to draw the line and hold it in a constructive and meaningful way.

Image credit: HikingArtist

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