Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Romeo Crennel is Good at His Job.

Romeo Crennel is good at his job.  This statement flies in the face of conventional wisdom -- Crennel is considered something of a failure by that standard.  He's only had one winning season in ~5 seasons as a head coach, and his team this year is just 2-10.

I say this after watching Merril Hoge on ESPN comment on the Chiefs win this past weekend, and the murder-suicide that took place the day before. Merril argued that
  • There is no skill set that prepares an individual to deal with that kind of a situation;
  • That the Chiefs were inspiring in their performance; and 
  • That Romeo Crennel displayed amazing leadership qualities.  
I like Merril, and I am impressed with Romeo Crennel's handling of the situation, but I don't think the analysis is right.

First, I can think of ten different skill sets that are all designed to deal with the horrible situation that occurred at the Chiefs' facility -- cop, firefighter, EMT, doc, shrink, nurse, lawyer, judge, priest, and rabbi, just to start. These kinds of things are routine for those jobs. Each one of those individuals has a skill set designed to deal with a specific part of that situation. So Merril's wrong on that one.

The second is whether the win is inspiring.  NFL players are professional athletes, but they are really professional entertainers, like stage actors.  The byword of those fields has always been "the show must go on."  They did their jobs as entertainers -- commendable, but something more than that?

Finally, on whether this is a display of leadership by Crennel -- Crennel did his job, and did it well. It is common to overlook that a coach like Crennel is the operational manager of an organization worth approximately a billion dollars.  That organization's value is based on holding eight events (games) at their stadium each year.  Romeo made sure the game took place, and he deserves a lot of credit for that.

Part of being a coach is being a leader, but Hoge heralding Crennel as a great leader misses the schwerpunkt.  The important question, the tough point, is why was Crennel able to lead? Why is Romeo Crennel good at his job?

I can't tell much, from thousands of miles away, about Romeo Crennel's personality, or the way he interacts with people.  But I'm probably right about the following point -- Romeo Crennel has the capacity to form intimate relationships -- that he is able and capable of being affectionate towards people. Such a capacity is the single best predictor of success in every aspect of life. I think it's the reason Jovan Belcher sought him out, the reason his players gravitated to him in a crisis, and the reason the Chiefs were able to go to work on Sunday.  Romeo Crennel has a "skill set," for lack of a better word, to deal with such situations -- and that skill set, not winning, is the sine qua non of coaching.