What We Learned: Talent Placement Lesssons from Tennessee Football and The American Ryder Cup Team

by FordHarrison
Contact

Sports are about players making plays. Coaches and managers can breakdown film, scheme, and motivate all they want. But, when the game is on the line, execution is all that matters. As the ole coach said,  “It’s not about the X’s and O’s, it’s about the Jimmy’s and Joe’s.” This truth was on full display this weekend in two, wholly unrelated sports: college football and … golf.

On Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs hosted the Tennessee Volunteers “between the hedges” in Athens, Georgia, and the last 30 seconds was likely the wildest ending to a sports contest you’ll ever see. If you didn’t see the game, and have been under a rock all weekend, Georgia threw a 50-yd touchdown pass with 10 seconds left to take the lead, only to have Tennessee throw a 50-yd “Hail Mary” with no time on the clock to win the game. The ending defies all attempts at written description. Do yourself a favor and click the link above, and watch all the videos. (Full disclosure: I am a Tennessee fan. A hopeless, oft heartbroken, Tennessee fan.)

For all the excitement on the gridiron, the story begins and ends with the man who caught the game-winning pass for the Vols, Juan Jennings. Jennings came to Tennessee in 2015 as a 4-star recruit as a dual-threat quarterback out of Murfreesboro, TN. Jennings was also a two-sport athlete, earning looks from several schools for hoops after he was name MVP of the basketball state tournament in his junior year. Jennings was a promising prospect at QB, with a solid arm and superior running ability. But, Coach Jones and the UT staff had other ideas, converting Jennings into a wide receiver shortly after he stepped on the practice field in Knoxville. To his credit, however, rather than pout or request a transfer, Jennings took the challenge to become the best wide receiver he could be. Boy, has that decision paid off! Just last week, Jennings burned future NFL draft pick Jalen Tabor for the go-ahead touchdown against the Florida Gators. And now, he basks in the glory of catching the pass that kept Tennessee in the driver’s seat for winning the SEC East. For Jennings, it’s an inspiring story of trust and commitment. For the coaches, it’s a story of knowing your players and putting them in the best position to succeed.

A similar story of placement and execution played out on the links on Sunday, as America recaptured the Ryder Cup over Europe, winning by the biggest margin in over 30 years. Fittingly, the final, cup-clenching point was earned by Captain’s pick Ryan Moore, whom USA Team Captain Davis Love, III chose over Bubba Watson, the 7th-ranked player in the world. The potentially controversial pick proved fruitful, as Moore earned Team USA 2.5 points over the weekend, including a win over European veteran Lee Westwood.

3 tips for employers

The wisdom of these coaches and captains can be replicated every day in your workforce. Your first goal as a manager or business owner is to identify an individual with the will to succeed on their own. No matter how good a business person you are, if your team members are not committed to advancing themselves, its unlikely they will see the benefit in contributing to your goals, either.

Second, focus on the facts. Too often in hiring employers will ask questions that don’t pertain to the needs of the job. Take Jennings, for example. While he may have desired to be a quarterback, the facts pointed the coaches to another position (i.e., tall, jumps well, good hands, great speed = wide receiver!) Focusing on tangible and intangible qualities that have the ability to affect the outcome of a play (or an assignment) will streamline your hiring process. Plus, not straying off into topics that don’t matter will eliminate the possibility of asking irrelevant questions that can expose your Company to liability.

Finally, check references. Players have ready-made reference sheets in the form of wins, losses, and personal stats. Your applicants and employees wont be as easy to evaluate. The best thing is to call on those who have previously worked with them. Typically, the employee will provide you with a list of references. If that list seems suspect, or if the people you call don’t have anything good to say about a candidate, that should be a sure sign he/she likely wont be a great contributor to your goals, either.

Taking time to build a team with the right kind of talent in the right places can help put your Company in a position to succeed.

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© FordHarrison | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

FordHarrison
Contact
more
less

FordHarrison on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.