On Monday we learned that my Alma Mater’s head football coach was taking a new gig. Steve Sarkisian announced his move from the University of Washington to USC just days after a huge win over arch rival Washington State in the Apple Cup. Although the possibility of this move had been swirling around the periphery for the last few months, it seemed that he wasn’t the first choice. Turns out after a couple of folks ahead of him declined, he jumped to go back home. Now the Huskies have their eyes on other had coaches and so the dominoes fall.

Let’s face it, college football coaches are hired guns. So are CEO’s. As I write this post, their is news in my neck of the woods that Microsoft is putting the full-court press on Ford’s CEO, Alan Mullaly (former CEO of some little company called Boeing). Unlike their small business brethren, CEOs are generally not the founders of the business. They are brought in to accelerate growth; fix problems and raise the stock price. College football coaches are supposed to do the same thing. Because of that, movement is rampant in both businesses. This isn’t loyalty. It’s business.

But what is always left behind in these moves are the colleges and the kids; the businesses and the employees. Athletic departments and board of directors better have a plan in place if and when their hired gun leaps to new pastures. If not, they are in the cross hairs of a crisis. This goes all the way from communications to operations to reputation.

Part of identification of risk should involve the losing of the top boss. And, that should not only go for CEOs, but for the sudden loss of a business owner. How well is your business prepared for the loss of leadership due to a variety of reasons? What plans do you have in place to prevent and avoid this crisis?

If you don’t have one, now might be a good time to put one into place. You never know when your number is called…

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


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