Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
The Lakers are a Great Example...

Tuesday, May 20, 2003  

...of an inconsistent team. This year they proved once again that talent doesn't mean that they're the best. You've got the talented workaholic who tries to do it all (Kobe), the extremely talented but stupid and self-centered guy (Shaq) and the roleplayers who have a specific purpose and are expected to simply perform consistently. Shaq wants to be The Man but refuses to lead by example. Kobe realizes that he's currently the #2 guy and can become the #1 guy when Shaq wears out his welcome. He appears to be frustrated that others on the team don't put in his time and effort to be the best. The other guys are drawing a paycheck and basically want to win, but there's only so far that talent and hard work can take them. How often does an IT staff resemble this situation? And how does good ole Phil get them functional again?

Consistency can be the hardest thing to achieve in team-building. I can get great things out of my staff but it's uneven. Sometimes part of what they do is great and part is so bad it undoes the greatness done. When poor results are achieved because of sloppiness rather than ignorance, what then is the solution? Laying down the law isn't the issue -- it's figuring out what the motivating factor is behind the inconsistent performance and addressing it. I've got such a meeting today. Do I use the iron fist? Or the velvet glove? A combination? What will be the carrot(s) and/or stick(s) necessary this time? I'm a problem-solving kind of guy and people are the biggest puzzle I've ever encountered...

posted by Henry Jenkins | 5/20/2003 12:14:00 AM

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