The All-Star Athlete Doesn’t Necessarily Make A Good Coach

Raw unfiltered feedback really sheds light on people or organization issues and often comes out in full force during organizational assessments. A few years ago, CMOE was working with an organization to improve the performance and effectiveness of its managers. We provided an assessment tool to specifically help draw out insight and feedback as to how effective the managers were in their roles, skills, and competencies. Overall, the managers scored well. However, one department wasn’t doing as well as the rest. As we sifted through the data, I came across some general comments provided by an individual in this department. Let me share with you this rare glimpse of someone truly opening up and sharing.

Unfiltered FeedbackThese comments has been modified to ensure anonymityAll-Stars-Dont-Necessarily-Make-A-Great-Coach
“I think Mark has good intentions, but lacks some people skills in general. He’s a good programmer and sales rep, but seems to be rather abrasive as a manager. The all-star athlete doesn’t always make a good coach. Mark tends to think it is his way or the highway. Team meetings are viewed as ‘time to get beat up’ sessions…”

“The sales team feels constant pressure to perform at a level beyond common sense. We all know there is pressure from the top down to “make the numbers,” but lose sight of the fact that our customers drive the business. Our promises to Wall Street should not influence how we treat our customers……We think short-term and are managed accordingly. Our success is based on long-term professional relationships with customers we care about and treat right. As long as we deliver what we promise and provide solutions that customers are happy with, we will do well…”

“I am VERY uncomfortable with having to share this information at this time. I fully expect to get in trouble for being open and honest and sharing this information.”

Our Summary of These Comments: The translation of the above comment is that this person loves the job, but feels changes are drastically needed for the department. It is clear that this person has also reached a tipping point where frustration will lead to radical change for them as an individual; the person may leave, start to resist, or even break down emotionally.

All-star performers often accomplish more and in return often expect more from those they manage. I don’t see anything wrong with expecting more, so long as these all-star athletes are equipped and continually develop interpersonal communication skills. The big question is have these people been identified in your organization?

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About the Author

Chris Stowell

Christopher Stowell is currently serving as CMOE’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he works with multi-national organization to develop their people. His special interests lie in coaching teamwork, strategy, e-learning, and assessment design, and delivery. Chris has a special talent in helping companies assess their organizational effectiveness and identifying key issues and opportunities in order to advance their performance and achieve long term results. Additionally, he has extensive experience in designing, coordinating, and facilitating customized adventure based experiential training events for high performance teams.