Dancing with the stars – What do Kyrie Irving and Microsoft have in common?

Every team needs a star who can excel and overcome situations where the rest of us stop and get stuck.
How do you manage a star? and what to do to prevent a distrustful ego-trip?

How much does a star worth?

A recent USA TODAY review of CEO pay for 50 of the largest companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 showed the median compensation last year was $15.7 million.
At a time when average Americans feel poorer because their homes are worth less and the economy’s teetering on the brink of a recession, the public is focusing on CEO compensation as never before.
Articles such as this one, published now and again, question the relations between compensation and results.
It’s not just about the bottom line. Every public company can improve the revenues as a result of bullish markets, regardless of a slowdown in sales and poor performance of their CEOs.
Do Executives deserve a bonus for the NASDAQ performance? Does a star deserve a winning bonus when his team wins, even though he played his worst?

How to attract a star?

The good news is that the shakings in the markets create instability in the workplace. Why is this good news? because a slowdown in the market allows even small and medium size companies to acquire stars.
Soon enough, great software developers, team leaders, and architects will be within your reach.
How do you attract a star to move to your team? How do you make him/her stay for another season? how do you do that without increasing the salary beyond what you can afford?
These are the same dilemmas Uber, Airbnb, Google, Microsoft, and yes, the Cleveland Cavaliers, are dealing with this time of year.

Shall we dance?

Now. It is true that you can build a team with only mediocre players. Replace the word players with programmers/testers/designers, and here is your team. Like it? I didn’t think so. So, after all, it’s worth to invest in a star, despite the associated costs.
A star operates in situations where the rest of the players can not. and there is a bonus – a star can make his teammates better.
The ball is in your court now. A manager dream is to see his business operates smoothly without him. A dream that can become a nightmare if someone else’s notices he is not needed anymore.
Here lies the greatest fear of all coaches and managers (not you of course): To be overshadowed by their stars.
After all, what does a win worth if you can’t get the credit for it?

Freedom within a framework

Dealing with a star requires major risk taking. There is a fine line between not giving him enough space and losing him, to giving her the freedom and risk the entire project.
Notice this is not the only area in life where control Vs freedom is on the line…

The solution:

  • You give the star his freedom, within a well-defined framework
  • You let everybody on the team understand the benefits of having the star onboard
  • You make sure everyone is compensated for success
  • You draw the line where the star put the teamwork at risk

So, how much is a star worth?

Post-Recession Cleveland is in worse economic shape than Detroit, or anywhere else, as some reports claim. Although there are a lot of tangibles that suggest otherwise — Lebron James is still in town, but Kyrie Irving may be on his way out of Cleveland to find a bigger role elsewhere.
The Knicks, Spurs, Heat, and Timberwolves are some of the NBA teams in the race to acquire Irving’s talent.
Soon they will send out their season ticket renewal packets with, hopefully, one of the most recognizable faces in sports inviting customers to renew.

How much would you pay Mr. Irving?