I'm currently reading the eBook 8-Man Rotation which I have made available to download in this post. Kris Dunn, one of my favorite bloggers, provides a great example in his piece, "Want a Great Manager? 5 Reasons To Stay Away From the Stars and Hire a Scrub," that mediocre players can go on to become great coaches. For example:
• Joe Torre
• Tony Larussa
• Phil Jackson
• Pat Riley
These guys will make it to the Hall of Fame not because of their athletic abilities, but rather because of their superior coaching skills.
As it relates to talent acquisition, Dunn made it clear that the trouble with hiring Stars is that they are frequently thought to have the best skills to become the most effective managers. As a result, Stars often get chosen first when promotion opportunities arise. But then what happens? It rarely works out.
I thought about why this occurs. Why hasn't Wayne Gretzky won any Stanley Cups as a coach? I then learned that one reason is because Stars have special skills - they tend to get frustrated when their pupils can't do what they did with great consistency.
Scrubs on the other hand are more like role players and can often make excellent coaches (and managers). The advantage Scrubs have is that they know the game is hard, so they work harder at it. In addition, if you give them a shot and they'll be loyal forever.
Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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