Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The gracious winner

What a wonderful lesson the outcome of the Wimbledon men’s singles final gave us on Sunday. Not only was Murray graceful in defeat (the sign of a true professional), but how gracious Federer was too. The champion did not crow and had such empathy for Murray’s disappointment. In business, too often when two good candidates go for the top job internally, the organisation ends up losing the one who is not selected and sometimes even more staff. This is either because the successful one fails to recognise that their lack of humility alienates those who would have preferred the other candidate or because the losing candidate becomes negative and sets out to undermine the other. 

Senior Managers need to handle these situations with sensitivity, as the workforce will know what is going on and have their own allegiances. When announcing the result to each one, stress the importance of the team being united and ensure public announcements do not in any way detract from the abilities of the other. Give honest and constructive feedback so they both can improve their areas of weakness, this way hopefully you can keep both members of the team

With the Olympics only weeks away it is a good time to reflect how good sporting behaviour can teach business a lot.