18Fire Your Star?

“HAVE YOU EVER FIRED YOUR star player?”

Peter paused to think before answering, “Yes.”

“Because you couldn't work with the person?”

“No. Because the evidence was clear the star made the team worse. It's the same in business or basketball. Talent without teamwork loses. But you've got to make sure your diagnosis is right. You don't want to create a problem by solving the wrong one. Who's your falling star?”

“Madison, my marketing manager.”

“And?”

“When we met to talk about improving the business, her only ideas were to expand her empire and replace her colleagues.”

“Could she be right?”

“Partly. She gave me critical information to understand Carlos, and she was right that our sales manager had to go. She even congratulated me for getting that done—but that's a story for another time. As I'm seeing it, our biggest problem is lack of coordination and teamwork.”

“And she's not helping?”

“Only if she gets to be in the spotlight. Even a hint of criticism gets her pouting.”

“When she pouts, what do you do?”

“At first, I was backing off. You know how well that works. When last time we met, I confronted her directly. Told her she needed to decide if she wants to sign up for the team.”

“What did she say?”

“She took it as me telling her it was my way or the highway.”

“Does she think the town isn't big enough for both of you?”

“Maybe. She talks as if she already has my job. Anyway, I told her that it's about making the team a success, not about who's the star. And I asked ...

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