Every major sport has a trade market. It’s one of the main ways that teams try and make moves to either win now, or build for the future. As an avid Celtics fan, I have watched my team make good and bad moves over the years. The biggest moves of my time were the trades that netted us two future Hall of Famers in Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. With them, we were able to make two trips to the NBA Championship and capture a title against the vaunted Lakers.
The Celtics just faced a tough decision last week. They already let Ray Allen leave as a free agent, getting nothing in return for the star as he moved to Miami last year. Now, would they trade some key pieces, possibly Kevin Garnett or long time star Paul Pierce, for future value like draft picks or younger players who have the potential to blossom in the future or would they hang on until the end, letting these aging stars play out the string, never quite reaching championship caliber play, but posting respectable showings for the next few years as these players walk off into the sunset?
The reason I bring this up is that as decision makers in the workplace, sometimes we have to make tough decisions about staffing. Managers are charged with understanding their environment and their team and knowing when the make-up of that team has to change. At one point, your current team might have been the best assembly of talent you could hope to find for the job. But sometimes, even though there is no major failure or pressing reason to get rid of someone or make a transition, it would still behoove the whole if a change were made.
Company’s change over time and so do employees. Sometimes someone is a good fit to implement certain processes within a business, but once those processes are implemented, they may not be the best person to run them. Sometimes people become complacent and unchallenged. Sometimes people burn out.
Whatever the reason, as managers we have to recognize when this is happening, make a contingency plan and move on if that is what the situation calls for. People say business and emotions should be kept separate, but for highly motivated employees, business is personal. In many cases, right or wrong, it can be the number one priority in their lives. Most of us spend more time with our employees then we do with our own families.
But when determining what the best personnel decision is for your team, we must take emotions out of it and use our experience and instincts to determine the best course of action. As much as we may like a certain employee, and as well as they may have performed in the past, when it is time to move on, it is time to move on. Failure to recognize this can compromise and retard your team’s growth. If you are reading this, just getting by is probably not good enough and you are trying to find out how to stand out so don’t fall into this common trap.
As the Celtics approached the trade deadline, I hoped that they could find a trading partner for Mr. Garnett or Mr. Pierce. As much as I love them both as a fan, I feel that they are no longer capable of getting the Celtics to the finals. Unfortunately, only smaller moves were made and the General Manager decided to stand pat. I thought that they could help other teams have a real chance at a championship and I think that the Celtics could have started stockpiling assets for future seasons now. It would be sad to see them go, but I feel strongly that this would have been best for the team.
If the wrong decision was made and I am right, I believe the General Manager, Danny Ainge should be held responsible for letting his emotional attachment to these players get in the way of a sound business decision. In the workplace, our decisions, or failure to make decisions are all part of our performance. Don’t let emotions get in the way of performance, affecting your ability to succeed and stand out in your job. Be proactive and not reactive about personnel to insure continued growth and high level performance.
Jason Kleinerman is an entrepreneurial minded management expert specializing in multifamily residential real estate. Currently a Regional Manager for Universal Management, LLC, he has helped shape the direction of this residential firm over the past 6 years in a team setting while driving bottom line returns over many different assets through shrewd management and thorough planning.