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The Commish is not just one single person, it is a real and true thought experiment of many different entities. That's also why the Commish has no preferred pronouns and you

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can call the Commish anything and anyway you want. Makes no difference to the Commish. The Commish lives in the minds of all tennis professionals, tennis players, tennis organizers, everyone with a clear and logical thought pocess. 

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Dear Commish

Tennis Industry Megalomanics

By The Commish

Dear Commish,

There is a guy I know and he works for a major tennis organization and I think he might be a megalomanic, what can I do to help him come down to the same level as the rest of us poor human beings?  He thinks all his ideas are better than everyone else’s.  He also seems not to hear in a meeting, when someone has an idea, then 10 minutes later rephrases it, claiming it as his own, not acknowledging that he heard it in the meeting already, and his sycophants all bow down and play yes man to his great idea. 

~ Asking For a Friend

Dear Friend,

Are you sure you aren’t a borderline schizophrenic? Borderline Schizophrenics have a fantasy of what they can achieve if left unfettered by normal conventions. They also have a hard time accepting the chain of command. Don’t worry, you are not alone, because The Commish just naturally assumes that given the amount of arrogance in the tennis industry in most leadership positions, we assume they are megalomaniacs or borderline until they prove otherwise.  Abraham Lincoln said, “When you look for the evil in others, you shall most certainly found it.” The commish has been looking and finding repeatedly, but always leaves the door open to being surprised. Commish also knows that Lincoln expected people not to look for the bad in others. 

The Grave

I think you can start by telling your friend that we all end up in the same place and that not long after being buried almost no trace of the original body can be found, it just sorta becomes dirt again.  We enter naked and we leave the same way, our final destination doesn’t care how uppity we were along the day.
It’s too bad tennis many folks haven’t really ever had to face any true adversity in their lives like wondering where their next meal was coming from, being on the wrong end of a gun, having to punch an actual bully, or any other number of really tough circumstances to overcome.  Maybe if they had they would realize how fragile life is, and how welcome any other human being is who might help us in any way.  


 

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Unconcerned With Unintended Consequences

Maybe then they would come to realize that the insanely stupid things done in the tennis industry, in the name of self-interest and oversized egos. They do actual big-time harm to the outcomes of others, but they trivialize them, by saying ‘oops, we will fix that in 6, 13, or 18 months, maybe, if you are lucky. Maybe then, those of grandiose vision, and megalomania, won’t simply throw a switch that will zap large or small groups of people with unready machinery that spits them out of the system and with no one to be their advocate. Don’t hold your breath.

Listen And Do

The commish, and every part of the commish collective, really listen to people without judgment.  Commish is glad you wrote, loves to hear what you have to say even when you disguise your request as being ‘for a friend’.  

Another great strategy is to build a circle of friends, promote and appreciate those whom all walk side by side to collaborate in the truest sense of the word. The more you put your energy and time into people and organizations that really care about the work, instead of who gets the credit, then there is joy to be had at standing back and saying look what WE did, and welcome to the club. 


 

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Photo by Ali Morshedlou on Unsplash

Dear Commish,

This is serious, I am in a leadership position in tennis and I believe that one or a few of my underlings are insubordinate, disloyal to the mission and myself, or simply incompetent. 

~ Earnest Leader

Dear Earnest,

The commish is capable of serious answers, although they generally couch their seriousness is dark humor to make it go down easy like a teaspoon of sugar with the medicine.  Anyway, you are not alone and many can learn from you. The commish when in a position of leadership first looks to create a winning culture, one that gives everyone a voice, but also is unified along the mission. First, look at yourself and other leaders at your level. Do you have a clearly defined mission?  Do you have major objectives that you want to achieve through the, for the, by the organization?  You are the leader, so you drive the bus. Does everyone in the organization in a leadership capacity have some kind of say in developing the objectives, then goals?  When you allow people to have their say, then necessarily they then have a responsibility to be about the work of making it happen. That’s how we get ‘buy-in’ because they either put themselves out there or tacitly accepted the objectives as handed to them by others.  

Your BMW Is Broken Down On The Side Of The Road

If we liken the organization to a car, then the mission is the engine, the objectives are the transmission, and the goals are the drivetrain, but then the rubber meets the road.  It’s the people who are to be about doing the activities that create the traction to move the vehicle along to a new place.  However, if you have a flat tire, then it’s pretty obvious that it needs to be changed, right? Of course, you as the mechanic probably want to take the tire off, inspect it, to see if it simply needs a patch, or if it can be repaired in some way, before simply throwing it out. Some flat tires are beyond repair and must be removed. 


 

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Bring It Into The Shop

I would bring people in one on one, get to know them, examine them for leaks, patch where necessary, and recycle when they are beyond repair. 

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Photo by Fernando Marques on Unsplash

Remove Bad Parts, Repair The Car

The commish has yet to come into a situation as a leader where there were not insubordinate, disloyal, and incompetent underlings.  There is a fine line between dissent that causes growth in the leader, and open lines of communication, and the other kind that spawns negativity and inconsistent goals.  The commish has had enough one on ones with less than useful employees that lead to their demise, enough to fill both hands twice. It’s amazing how what one good firing can do to send a strong message. We heard that there is a certain CEO of a fine company who annually fires his lowest-performing 1%, having a shark in the water keeps the fish swimming. 

If The Car Isn’t Running, It’s Your Fault

 

So, if you are a leader then lead, but be sure you have been very clear about your expectations and have given your underlings every chance to fly right before you kick them out of the coop. Be sure to value your dissenting views, because your most valuable employees are the ones who boldly save you from making huge and expensive mistakes.  Those that save the organization for unintended consequences are not divisive, it’s the ones who silently go about other work that does not support the mission or goes directly against it.  

You Probably Need To Remove Some Bad Parts Permanently

Get out your mission statement, give it a read. Look at your objectives, then check to see if they all support the mission.  Move on to goals, do they support the objectives?   Take a look at activities, are they achieving the goals?  Then look at the people who are supposed to perform the activities?  What needs changing?  

 

Yes, you can fire Net Generation today!

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