When should your Star Performer be given the boot?

Last week Harlequins Rugby parted company with Marland Yarde – the England International flying wing. A player who has very impressive stats – 31 tries from 100 first class matches and 8 tries from 13 test matches. He is a 6ft power house of a player and when seen playing for Quins always gives his all. Why therefore have they given him the boot?

Well you only have to hear from his current and former team mates Chris Robshaw and Ugo Moyne.

Chris Robshaw said “Harlequins is in a ‘better place’ without the winger.”

Ugo Monye said “Over the past few years, Marland’s off-field behaviour has not been in line with the core values, culture and beliefs of Harlequins, and that is what has led to this decision being made’’.

It is often very difficult for organisations to know what to do if there so called star performers play up.

Most teams whether in the sporting arena or in the business arena have to come to terms that they will have a collection of personalities fulfilling different roles. On top of this many will be on different pay scales.

It is key for organisations that they create an environment for high performance as well as creativity.

When I played at Saracens I shared a dressing room with three of the most iconic Rugby Players who ever played – Francois Pienaar, Phillip Sella and Michael Lynagh. We may have shared the same dressing room and played on the same pitch but I obviously knew they were being paid a hell of a lot more money than me for that privilege.

Did I have an issue with this – of course not. They all for one were revered players who have proved themselves World Class players. Two were World Cup winners and the other at the time the most capped international in the world with 111 caps.  Any recruitment company would tell you for World Class performers you need to pay top dollar.

The other reason I did not have an issue was they were absolute professional in the way they went about their business. Not only did they work hard – never late always early to training, putting in extra time to practice core skills – but also as senior team members they spent time with other members and set the standard and lead from the front.

Take Marland Yarde – he is a top earner at properly around £350K per year and at 25 years and given his experience certainly should be seen as becoming a senior pro. As a senior pro within the team therefore comes great responsibility. It is no good just turning up and doing the bear minimum – senior pros need to lead, set the example and bring an organisation values to life.

One thing any organisation or team cannot do or should ever tolerate is any senior pros falling below the standards and values expected of your team or organisation. If they do ‘give them the boot’ or else be prepared for a decline in your culture and performance.

Often in teams we speak about ‘values’ and ‘team trade marks’. Teams should agree and fulfill their values and how they expect each other to behave. They need to show each other the mutual respect and live up to them. Again failure to abide by this should lead to the individual being performance managed.

Unfortunately Marland fell short and Quins quite rightly decided they needed to move on.

For more information on Leadership and Team Performance visit our website https://4d.uk.com/developing-and-training-your-people/