One of the reasons for the current furore surrounding the Luis Suarez biting incident is that he hadn’t been managed firmly enough previously.
It is a real temptation for managers in business (as well as in sport) to allow their Golden boy or girl to get away with behaviour, which should not be tolerated.
And because he got away with it before, Uruguay now have a situation where he has put the chances and reputation of his team and country at risk.
It is so easy as a manager to convince yourself that the results a great performer brings in (clients, revenue, ideas, technical brilliance... goals!) outweigh the less than acceptable behaviour they may display (arrogance, aggression, critical or offensive approach to others... biting!) Isn’t that just the pay-off we need to accept for their brilliance?
That is the very mistake Suarez’ managers have made and he is now about to cost them dearly.
Each time you try and justify the poor behaviour of one of your best people by the amount of money they are bringing in or the new ideas they are generating, start to think about how quickly that revenue is simply walking out of another door as a result of demotivated team members and colleagues, whose own performance drops off or who leave rather than put up with it.
There is another thought for managers here too – Kenny Dalglish’s exit from Liverpool is widely thought to have been, at least in part, due to his defence of Suarez and his lack of action to manage his aggressive behaviour. Managers should be accountable for their teams and it is right that Dalglish paid the price for his lack of firm management.
Don’t be a Dalglish. If you have a Suarez on your team, address the issues and ensure you do not risk the reputation of your team and the hard work and contribution of all your other players.
Stella Chandler and I founded Focal Point on a shared belief that a training course run in isolation doesn't work. We passionately believe there must be support both before and after the training or coaching session itself for it to make a difference. When I am not facilitating sessions with clients or looking at ways to grow the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...