Jeter’s Retirement

I hate and love Olbermann.  Asides from Stuart Scott, Keith Olbermann is probably the most eloquent, poignant current / alumnus ESPN anchor there is.  And if you have not seen his latest tirade on Jeter’s hyped retirement, it’s a piece of art.

Now before Jeter faithful (Olbermann used the word apologist) try to hang me from the Brooklyn Bridge next to Olbermann, I am not necessarily saying that I agree with him (even if the stats and anecdotes Olbermann rants off are impossible to dispute…)  Is Jeter a Hall of Famers – absolutely.  Is he one of the greatest Yankees Captains ever – perhaps.   Did the modern media and Gatorade commercials help to “iconize” him – for sure (hey, I do love the Re2pect marketing).  Does God have a sense of humor for allowing the O’s to end the Yankees season all the while bestowing Jeter an opportunity to hit the game winner on his final at bat against the same team?  You know it.  Am I little jealous because Jeter is getting a rock star treatment while Chicago’s beloved Pauley (Konerko that is) is riding off into the sunset without much fanfare?  Of course…   Then again, it’s better than getting boo’d out of the city like Sosa did in his final year.  After watching one of those feel-good Gatorade commercials, my wife asked, “was he really that good?”  I don’t know…   Why don’t you decide?

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Guest Contributor, Robert Cannon: Are You an Outperforming Manager? Do You Pay for Performance?

A recent Financial Times article examined the performance of English football teams. In summary –

1) Their research concluded that 90% of football club performance can be tracked to the players. That is the salary level paid for these “employees”, whether it be at high NY Yankee level, or Oakland A’s low, can predict most of the success of the team.

2) That leaves 10% for the Manager’s effect. Some managers outperform, while some underperform, just like in the real economy.

I believe that this phenomenon exists in the realm of competitive business (after all most pro sports leagues operate in a type of Cartel arrangement).  In any event, my conclusions would be:

A) The firm pays for positions and individuals, paying for the type of job and paying specifically for the employee and his/her skills to fill that position. It stands to reason that if the firm pay scale is average for your industry, you should expect no more or less than average performance, financially and customer-wise. Fully 90% of the result can be predicted here, that is if you pay more or less than average, the likelihood is that your financial results will reflect that spending. If you can afford to pay more, then the customer related performance and your related financial performance should go up.

B) Then again, in a small business environment, a very talented CEO can make much more than his/her 10% difference, through organization and drive lead an average crew to outperform it’s pay grade by a long shot.

Prescription – whether or not you are a good manager, you should hire talented people and pay-up for staff.  Hiring well is your biggest and most effectual job.

Robert Cannon is a principal at Cannonomics Inc.

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