Chicago Cubs: Should the teacher mingle with the students?
In my opinion, unless Ross comes in like a totally different person from the get-go, his players are looking at him like a friend more than a manager. It’s this dynamic that is going to be the hardest for him to navigate and it’s something that leaders have faced for ages. How do you rise in the ranks of your peers and then command their respect when you have to lead them?
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
Even kids experience these situations at the workplace when someone from a group of friends gets promoted and is now the boss. That friendship dynamic is not the same, no matter how professional you are. The biggest lesson learned from years of exploring this dynamic is this: a leader cannot be a friend.
There is a difference between friends and friendly. A leader can certainly always be friendly to employees or players. However, with all the time that a team must spend with each other, there is a deeper relationship between players that Ross himself used to experience. Now as a manager, Ross has to look at leading the whole “team” and can’t cater to friends.
Ross has already experienced that deeper level as a player himself and with many of the players on the current team. This is where it will be most difficult for the two-time World Series champion as he may have to make decisions that could end careers but are in the best interest of the team; he’s got to be a manager and not a friend.
Can the former student, now a teacher, mingle with his former student-friends and still manage? It’ll be one of the toughest issues Ross will need to figure out quickly.