Saying Goodbye to the Great Ones

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The business world can be brutal at times.  Competition never seems to let up, and often people are casualties in the process.  One of the hardest parts of leading business is managing the brutal reality of the bell curve.

Improving results is a function of improving an organization’s “average” and there are plenty of ways to do that.  Often times results are improved by going to the extremes, not the middle, 70%:

  1. The bottom 10% of the organization
    • This group can be improved, but it’s a challenge.  Improving results needs to be intentional, as detailed in “saying goodbye.”
  2. The top 20% of your performers
    • Simple strategy:  Don’t lose them!  Hang on.  Ask them to shape the future, be role models, whatever is their hot button, give it to them.

Sometimes the top performers move on and it can’t be avoided.  They get the offer that simply can’t be matched.  Or they want to try something new.  It hurts to lose them, but it should be celebrated nonetheless. In a MAJOR fashion.

This week, Major League Baseball, and my beloved NY Yankees said goodbye to the greatest closer that ever walked a baseball diamond, Mariano Rivera.  He’s not in the top 20% group; he’s in the top .0001% group.

It is hard for any Yankee (or baseball fan for that matter) to watch Mariano’s last inning at Yankee Stadium and NOT shed a tear.  If there’s a more touching final walk off the field in a storied career, I haven’t seen it.  Enjoy the clip.


Back to tears and saying goodbye to the great ones.  Optimists take heart in the great Dr. Seuss.

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened Dr. Seuss

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Mariano was in a class by himself.  He was not just dominant on baseball’s biggest stage; he carried himself with a class that can’t be found among today’s pro athletes.  Mariano made it look easy.  He respected the game.  He came from nothing, and became the greatest of all time.

A clip with only 15k views, this explains a ton of where Mariano came from, making his achievements even MORE remarkable.


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