By now everyone who follows football knows all they need to know about the infamous indecision of Brett Favre. After a long career in Green Bay that included a Super Bowl win, the future Hall of Fame quarterback announced a tearful retirement a couple years ago only to come back and play a hot and cold season with the Jets before retiring again.
He waffled for weeks before joining the Vikings last year and took them within an eyelash of their first Super Bowl in over 30 years. The drama was so intriguing that Favre’s football accomplishments were often overshadowed by his antics as a comedic poster boy for indecision. He even did a commercial where he parodied his famous weakness while buying a new television. It came as no surprise when the drama repeated itself this summer.
What can change teams learn from Brett Favre’s annual drama? I suggest there are at least a few lessons here – and how you apply them depends completely on the kind of team you already have and how tolerant your culture is regarding what I call “the Superstar Effect”. Consider that:
- Sometime the superstar is worth the hassle. I’m a huge Vikings fan and I don’t mind the mess because I think they might win a few more games with a wily veteran than they would with either of their other unproven quarterbacks at the wheel. Starbucks brought back their founding CEO Howard Schultz in an effort to turn around negative numbers. That worked out OK…
- Sometimes the talent upgrade IS NOT worth the hassle. Think of Terrell Owens, Randy Moss or Barry Bonds. Each was such a distraction at some point in their career that their teams felt better off letting their prima donna go and focusing on the team aspect of the game. Seriously consider if your change approach can bear the weight of a superstar before you make a talent upgrade that comes with a huge hassle factor.
- Decide how much indecision your change team can handle. Favre’s teammates have commented on how quickly he makes great on-field decisions during games in a way that runs absolutely counter to his off-season, off-field mulling. Set an expectation for when you will tolerate a thoughtful approach and when you will demand sharp decisions from your team members.
- Sometimes you’ll want to let “Manny will be Manny”. Each team member has a personality and sometime your players will approach life in unique ways that cannot be explained. In baseball they call that “Manny being Manny” in honor of Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Manny Ramirez who is known for his
eccentric behavior and clutch hitting. I have to think that some of Favre’s indecision is based on the reality of a 40+ year-old veteran hesitating before getting beat up playing a young man’s game. Some of it is surely fueled by a mix of ego and the NFL / TV hype machine that would turn anything into “news” if they could make money from it – so as long it it isn’t too disruptive, you may want to dismiss your superstar’s behavior with a grain of salt.
So think hard before inviting a superstar to join the change team. Consider if your team can live without them – and consider if you can live with them. Then make a decision doggone it! :o)
Questions for Chatter:
- What insights do you draw from Brett Favre’s indecision? Is he really conflicted or just messing with people for fun?
- Have you ever been a part of team that bent over backwards to get a superstar and had the move blow up in their faces?
- Do you know a superstar in your field who is so talented that they would be worth a bit of hassle just to have them on your team?
Click on “leave a comment” below to add your opinion to the mix…
Shoot, I’ll even listen to Packer fans! -S