I shook my head when I read about the University of Nebraska’s men’s basketball coach, Fred Hoiberg. He was hired in 2019 and has since earned over $10 million to lead the Cornhuskers — to a grand total of 20 wins. Big Red is 20-55 overall, 5-39 in the Big Ten, and has a staggering 1-28 record on the road.

Hoiberg attributes this to “the circumstances of what we’ve gone through” citing a host of challenges: late hiring, inheriting a weak lineup and recruitment legacy, injuries, and, of course, Covid interruptions. “We started from scratch, so it’s going to take some time,” he told the Associated Press.

It reminded me of one of my favorite sayings: “Not doing something plus a really good excuse does not equal doing something.” (see dot 794) He was hired to win, not just to win when conditions were favorable, and he hasn’t gotten it done. Hoiberg came to Nebraska with a lot of fanfare given his previous coaching with the Chicago Bulls and Iowa State, and I wonder if amidst that excitement and expectation there failed to be clear accountability standards for what was considered acceptable performance.

How much time is “some time” to get it done? It’s tempting when you hire someone with a great track record or substantial experience to assume that their success will translate to your organization. But, with the superstars and rookies alike, there should be clear expectations mutually agreed upon upfront. Don’t drop the ball with your onboarding.

Source: On the cusp of winning by Eric Olson for the Associated Press, in the Telegraph Herald, January 9, 2022, p. 2B

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