Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Superstar Dilemma - Building a Winning Team

As a non-athlete myself, please excuse this sports analogy.

One of my Shipmates was lamenting about the lackluster performance of his wardroom team.  Seems he had a group of superstar players who couldn't win a ballgame.  These are all seemingly gifted Naval officers who have all enjoyed some measure of success in previous commands (on other teams).  Many have advanced degrees.  

As a player-coach, the CO has moved these officers around in his own command from department to department looking for the best fit and best results.  His best operator is too junior to put in operations and his best engineer is stuck in admin.  Finding the best position for an officer in the command can be a challenge given our Navy's rank structure and seniority.  

Having a bunch of officers senior to the XO milling around his various departments doesn't make for a happy ball club.  Trying to force your catcher to play center field and having your right fielder at shortstop is going to limit your success and their love of the game.  And, keeping in mind that the guy (detailer) sending you players is also populating all the other teams, this wreaks havoc on your ability to play winning ball.  As the coach, you're going to have to figure that all out and build your winning team anyway.  That, my friend, is what leadership is all about - so I'm told.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Trying to fit individuals into the command purely based on rank is flawed logic. First place officers (or personnel in general) in a position they have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or apptitude to most likely succeed in. Then, consider rank, but only consider it, don't use it as a justification to change the original decision.

In other words, play to your officer's (personnel's) strengths.