The”Superstar” Syndrome

Everyone would like to have a team full of “Superstars”, where each player has all the skills and experience, the character and intangibles, knows their role intuitively and how to coordinate with the rest of the team. Then you just sit back and enjoy the watching the team kick butt, right? You become a Phil Jackson and you’re team becomes the Los Angeles Lakers, to use a current sports example. The fact is, that type of scenario rarely happens and when it does the party is brief. One of two things typically occurs with a team full of “superstars”; They have huge successes in a short period of time and either you, the players or both move on to bigger challenges or the team suffers from some form of prima-donna syndrome and really doesn’t work together. Either way, you will be back to rebuilding your team.

I use Phil Jackson and the Lakers as an example because it was not long ago the Lakers had a team full of superstars, at least many claimed that to be the case. Nonetheless, the team members thought so and as a result of the in-fighting between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant for center stage, the team suffered and faltered. Jackson needed to make changes, rebuild the team or risk not having a team to run. He did and anyone who picks-up on the news knows the recent results.  That is not to say that having “superstars” on your team is a bad thing, only that there is a big difference between a superstar team and a team full of superstars.

Perhaps you are not a Los Angeles Lakers fan, that’s ok I will leave you with some thoughts from the late, great coach….John Wooden. He believed and taught:

  • The best teams have a balance of talent and skills…everyone learns from each other.
  • The role of the coach, manager, leader is to help each person perform at their personal best and build on that.
  • Great teams are built from the shoe laces up…that is to say, greatness is in the discipline of the daily details.
  • Superstars become irrelevant to the greatness of the team.
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