Ken Griffey Jr. was the most valuable employee in the history of the Seattle Mariners. Not only was he a first-ballot Hall of Fame player, but he also had his greatest years in a Mariners uniform and may be the sole reason the team is still in Seattle. As the Mariners marquee public figure, he helped lift the team to it’s first-ever playoff run and defeated the New York Yankees in a five-game playoff series in 1995, where he slugged five home runs and scored the winning run in the deciding game. Over his career with the Mariners, he was always the best-known player nationally, and the best player on the field.
You might call him a key-person in the organization.
All businesses have Most Valuable Players in their organizations. They range from top sales people, to savvy executives, to potential successors. Often, they are the CEO or President themselves! Bottom line, the loss of that key person has deleterious consequences long-term for a company.
The two years after Ken Griffey Jr. left the team, the Mariners had highly successful years going to the American League Championship Series in back to back years. But since then, they have missed the playoffs for over two decades and have never been able to ably replace their best player. The initial success was a mirage.
The loss of your key employee(s) may not have immediate poor results (though often it does). But over the long haul, that person is hard – and sometimes impossible – to replace.
An important aspect of business continuity and succession planning is dealing with the retention of key employees. There are three perils to consider: death, disability, and disengagement. The first two are as obvious as a ham sandwich; the last means disengagement from a company in any form. That might mean they were hired away by a competitor; won the lottery and ran; or simply retired.
Having a plan in place to retain and compensate important executives and employees is critical to business continuity. That includes the sudden loss of the CEO. If you own a business – or maybe you are a key employee yourself – your assignment is to identify ways to most effectively manage the retention and development of these people.
Had the Mariners been able to keep Griffey, they may have won multiple championships. We will never know and neither will they. What we all acknowledge is they have never been the same without him. Can your business afford that loss within your own team? What can you do to take best care of your MVPs?
Quote of the Day:
“If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing And believe in what you are doing.”
~ Will Rogers
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