Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I'm Hearing...Can-gini

Ah, my long-suffering New York Jets. This weekend they once again snapped defeat from the jaws of victory.

The big news yesterday and today here in New York City is the firing of Jets head coach Eric Mangini. A few other NFL coaches also were let go, including record-breaking Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli, but none have received the airtime like Mangini's firing did.

From both a fan's perspective and that of an HR professional, I have mixed feelings on the sudden termination. This year the Jets had a winning season, so that in and of itself is an accomplishment and not something to be terminated for. But with the caliber of players they have, the Jets should have done better. However, is it all Mangini's fault, and therefore worthy of such a brisk termination? I can raise questions regarding other players' and coaches' performance, particularly near the end of the season.

I suppose that professional athletes and coaches go into the business knowing that the fates are fickle, opinions can change on a dime, and despite the lip service paid to "teamwork," in the end it is the individual's performance that matters. Do the rewards of high salaries and fame outweigh the risk of swift termination should things not go 100% perfect? Not every employee can be a A player, much as we might like.

Let's try to pull some good from Eric Mangini's experience, and consider our own organizations - how they are and how we'd like them to be. Is teamwork or individual performance more important? Is it OK to have B and C players to support our stars?

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