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A Team Player Outside of Sports

There is a quote by Casey Stangel, legendary baseball coach of the New York Yankees, that goes like this "Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story." I believe we all know this to be true.

There are and will be many people in your department, who on paper are rock stars and when given a task can do wonders in completing it. Talented people are plentiful. They have degrees, certifications, long lists of recommendations from people who they have done great work with. Sometimes those talented people are so good with their talent, that they can't seem to work with anyone else's talent.

As a manager, you think you've added the final stone to your team crown, rounding out what you already know to be a good working team. When you add that one person who seems to not "play well with others" it can bring the whole house down, literally. Most people say the bad seeds are hard to spot, which is true. Super talented people know exactly how to interview well, interjected good ideas their first week or two on the job. Their true work-selves don't come out until around the third of fourth week, when they begin to have their own work deadlines and assignments. Sadly, by then as a manager you feel as though you have invested money and time and need to ride this out, hoping the person will get it and turn themselves around.

Word to the wise, unless the new hire is straight out of college how they are is how they will be. It's during your fifth week, as you see the signs of this person, the start of one-on-one conversations, informal write ups need to begin. By the seventh week, yes it will take that long due to their back and forth with being a team player, conversations and procedures should be started to move this person out. It sounds cruel, but if you don't the good talented people you had before the bad seed got there will begin to revamp their resumes and by this seventh week start cleaning off their desks while they wait for their new job offer.

Working well, doing your job above and beyond, and being someone who works well with everyone on the team doesn't take a lot of effort. Truth is everyone should have the same goal. So, with that in mind everyone should be willing to do whatever they can with whomever they can to get the job done. This includes the rock star you just hired. Same yourself some grief and cut your losses before you lose more than just one person. Your crown will still sparkle with one gem missing.

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