Manage Personnel Differently

Jimmy Johnson was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys from 1989-1993. Jimmy Johnson is quoted as saying,

I think you treat every player differently. That’s what I always told the team. I’m going to be very consistent—I’m going to treat every one of you differently. I said, the harder you work, the more you do what I ask you to do and—the key—the better performer you are, then you’ve got more leeway and I’m going to cut you some slack. If you don’t work hard, and you don’t do what I ask you to do, and you’re not a good player, you’ve got no leeway so I don’t cut you any slack, but that’s how I treat you. Now, I expect everybody to work, I expect everybody to do what I ask them to do, meet all the guidelines, so a player like that, I’d want him in training camp but I’d let him out of drills or I’d let him out of practices to make sure they didn’t get beat up, but I’d want them there (Martin 2010).

One of the recent trends in higher education has been to teach students according to their learning preference.  Some are oral/audio learners while others are visual or kinesthetic learners.  To be an effective manager, you must also manage individuals differently. Get to know your reports to find out their work preferences and motivations.  If you have a high performing employee, you may cut him/her some slack if they are late.  But, for a very low-performer, consistent tardiness may be unacceptable.  Should everyone be forced to work a 9-5 schedule just because that’s your schedule?  No! It’s ineffective to try to keep tabs on employees that way. If you have a morning person who wants to be there at 7am versus a night owl who prefers starting the day at 11am, let them work according to their preferences. They may achieve more if they feel trusted to do their jobs. High performers may not need as much coaching as the low performer.  Overly coaching a high performer could be detrimental to their performance and morale.  You can still be fair and equitable to all even when treating reports differently.  The key is to be consistent regarding standards you expect from employees.

Do you want your supervisor to just treat everyone the same?  Or, would you prefer to be treated based on your performance, preferences and personality type?

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About LaKo

I'm a sports enthusiast who looks for lessons and analogies in sports and tries to apply those lessons to my personal and work life. In May 2013 I began my life as a runner with Black Girls Run!. Now, as a member of the Atlanta Track Club, I'm continuing my journey to preserve my sexy.
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One Response to Manage Personnel Differently

  1. Pingback: Stay in your lane! | LaKo's Lessons from Sports

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