Last week the New York Knicks decided to let Jeremy Lin go to the Houston Rockets. Many of you will recall the “Linsanity” that swept the nation when the mostly unknown Lin led the Knicks on a seven game winning streak. There are a few things we know about Lin: He isn’t a flashy player or out for himself. He works as hard or harder than his teammates; usually arriving at practice first and leaving last. He is coachable and barring injury has what it takes to be a success in the NBA. And he is a good teammate (he has been known to give up first class seats to other team members).
The Knicks let Lin go due to the substantial offer made by the Rockets and the luxury tax the Knicks would have had to pay to match it.
In the last ten years the Knicks have made it to the playoffs 3 times without a win in the NBA finals.
That begs the question – When you have a developing talent, it is best to pay to keep them or let them go to the competition and start training someone else into your team culture?
As the economy starts to come back, there has started to be murmurs of top talent jumping ship. If you are fortunate enough to be warned by your peak performer that he/she is thinking about leaving, are you prepared for the conversation? What are you willing to do to keep them?
What if they don’t warn you? You arrive to work one day and find a resignation letter waiting for you. Then what? At that point it is too late. You need to start doing your research and having those conversations now.
- What is the going rate for someone with their skills and experience?
- What value does he/she add above on beyond the technical skill (mentorship/ team development/training/etc)?
- How much knowledge capital is going to walk out with them?
- What does it cost your company in time and resources to recruit, hire and train someone new?
- What is important to your top players – often it isn’t just about the money.
The Knicks lost a talented team player with the proven ability to help them win because they thought he was too expensive to keep. If Lin succeeds with the Rockets and the Knicks flounder there will be talk of it being a mistake. But we will never really know the ‘what if’. What if they kept him? What if they continued to groom him and brought in other team players to support his style. What if…, What if…, What if… The Knicks think it is a better plan for their team to start with several new pieces to the puzzle. I think it is tough to build a championship team when you regularly teardown what you have and start over. And that is basically what happens when top talent leaves. Great teams are built on trust, communication and cohesiveness. That only happens when there is some constancy.
What do you think, is it worth it to stretch to keep your top talent?
Dr. Robyn Odegaard’s doctorate is in psychology with a concentration in performance and sport. She is the CEO of the speaking/consulting company Champion Performance Development, the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the book ‘Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams’. She specializes in combining executive coaching with sport psychology to show individuals and teams how to achieve the most from their potential. You can invite her to give one of her funny, influential and insightful presentations and inquire about her consulting services at www.ChampPerformance.com and order her book from www.StopTheDramaNow.com
Tags :building a championship team, Champion Performance Development, Doc Robyn, Houston Rockets, Jeremy Lin, Knicks, Lin, Linsanity, losing top talent, New York Knicks, NY Knicks, rebuilding, Robyn Odegaard, Rockets, team building, top performers jumping ship