On the heels of Melina's recent rant on fixing employee morale, I was reading Drew's brilliant sports blog, and found this amazing story on how exactly to screw up the worst way possible in management. From the article (which you really need to read in full):
""Why are we the 30th defense in the league? I think coaches got arrogant, I think Gregg got arrogant," the player said Tuesday, asking not to be identified. "They thought they figured it all out. They thought, 'We can win with scheme, we don't need players.' Don't be mistaken, this is a player-driven game, and so you need players. Any time in life when somebody thinks they've got it all figured out, it's going to come and get you. It's going to come and get you â€¦ the sentiment is a lot of guys are mad because the coaches think it's all about them. They think they're f------ geniuses, thinking they can just let guys go and get away with handling people badly."" [emphasis added]
Note the phrase: "this is a player-driven game, and so you need players" That's a true statement whether you're talking about football, accounting, or information security. John Wooden, who some people claim is the best coach in sports history, said it best: "the best coach is the one with the best players".
And how do you get the best players?
By being a person the best players want to work for: By treating them equally (but not the same). By being respectful (but not deferential). By making sure that they know how valuable they are (but know that they're not more valuable than the team). And by letting them know that you're there to serve their interests, and not the other way around.
If you read the article, take lots of notes: all of the Redskins coaches are making mistakes that you need to avoid if you want to manage a team that wins, whether you're in business or in sports.