“Hail to the Redskins” is the football team’s fight song. The Redskins are a proud NFL franchise and have a wonderful history of success. However, since Daniel Snyder took over as owner of the organization it has been a joke around the league. I don’t say Hail to the Redskins, I say Fail to the Redskins. The reason is bad leadership and it starts at the top of the organization.
Since Snyder has been owner the storied franchise has been through eight head coaches, countless assistants, a revolving door of star players who would rather play elsewhere (their star receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson just left and their franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins met with the owner and requested a trade) and now they are on to their fifth general manager since they just fired their GM Scot McCloughan. I and others have written about the toxic culture Daniel Snyder has created within the organization. The firm is all about what the owner wants to do, demonstrating player favoritism, undermining coaches, backstabbing, and telling the owner what he wants to hear. Not a recipe for success is it?
Snyder and Bruce Allen hired one of the NFL’s best and brightest GM’s. He had a track record of evaluating and attracting great talent at his former clubs. Hiring McCloughan was a necessity and also a risk since it was known he had a personal drinking problem. I can only hope the Redskins tried to support him and get him help with his personal problem. It is hard to help someone who does not want help or denies they have a problem.
Placing a talented executive with a drinking issue into a toxic culture was a recipe for disaster. The owner and President failed to properly address and change the culture and did virtually nothing to create a trusting environment that would support the new GM in his role.
I do not fault the Redskins for terminating the GM for his personal problem which they felt was impacting his performance. I fault Snyder and Allen for not recognizing and changing the toxic culture within the organization and not providing an environment for the GM to excel.
As a leader what kind of culture and environment are you creating to enable your current and new team members to thrive? It starts with you.