The Balotelli Problem
Last week a photograph from Man City training ground was released. It showed the head coach Roberto Mancini pulling Mario Balotelli’s training bib after the combustible Italian striker had taken a swipe at one of his teammates towards the end of the training session. The whole episode was just another example of what I call “The Balotelli Problem”. Employees like Balotelli confront their leaders with the ultimate value test. How much are you willing to compromise your principles, so long as the person performs and delivers the results?
Basically you have four different types of employees in an organization or in a football team.
1. Those who live the values and simultaneously deliver results.
2. Those who live values, but who does not deliver the results.
3. Those who neither live the values or deliver results.
4. Those who do not live the values, but they deliver results.
At the moment Balotelli is probably somewhere between group 3 and group 4 (he scored 17 goals last season). It’s a tough call. Guys like him are, on the one hand, extremely valuable, but on the other hand, extremely annoying. And what do you do with them?
Sorry, I don’t have the recipe.
Obviously any leader must have principles that are not up for discussion and he must know the difference being individualistic and selfish. But on the other hand: if you make things too conformist, you risk losing the people who rise above mediocrity. If you as a leader will create something extraordinary, you must understand that elite people are not always easy to deal with.