To be great we have to stop being good

How do you fire someone who is good at their job? 

This whole thing with Jason Garrett bothers me, but not in an obvious way. Jason Garrett, the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys was fired recently. He was a good head coach. 

The Cowboys were 8-8 for the 2019 NFL season. Ok, not the best year, but that record tied or beat 19 other teams out of all 32.  

Garrett’s overall record for the past nine seasons was 85-67, a winning record. 

In only one season did the Cowboys finish under .500. Sure, they have had playoff troubles, but Garrett is a purebred Cowboy. He’s been a part of the organization in some way for 28 years!

Jason Garrett is rock solid. 

So, how do you fire a guy like that? 

What bothers me is that I think I understand why it happened.

I think the thinking was, “If we want to be great, we have to stop being good.”

Problem. When you fire somebody who is good, you only make way for somebody else that *might* be great. It’s not a guarantee but a huge gamble. And to make that bet you have to be “all in” on what you want. And I mean, all in. 

You have to be willing to part ways with somebody you can count on, who is reliable, who is good at their job, who knows the history for… (remind me why we are doing this?) 

So, how bad do you want it?

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on January 6, 2020

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