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  • Aryeh Brickner

How winning the workplace lottery can be a recipe for disaster!


Last night, the was the highly anticipated NBA draft lottery, where the worst teams in the league are entered in a draw, for a chance to win the rights to the top draft picks next season. Obviously, there is joy and jubilation on the part of the team that wins the first pick. For them, there are endless options about which player to choose from. (Interestingly enough, for the next few teams there are also endless option, minus the first few players chosen!)


But buyer beware. Sometimes having an all-star caliber player handed to you on a silver platter means resting on your laurels elsewhere. In fact, going back to 2011, no 1st pick team has generated much success, aside from the Cavaliers who took Kyrie Irving, but that had mostly to do with the fact that they also had the first pick in 2003 and took LeBron James, who returned home after a stint with the Miami Heat.


Managers can also face these types of scenarios in the office. “We signed a major contract; our revenue is set!” Well you can just as easily lose that client. “This guy is a brilliant developer, if we hire him away from the competition we’ll be in great shape!” Maybe so, but if he can be lured away by you, he can probably be lured away by someone else.

So often, having a leap forward can mean developing a lackadaisical attitude in other areas of the business. When a team signs a top pick, they often must overhaul their roster to recruit players who can complement this new talent. Their coach may need to adjust his scheme to fit the player’s style.


It goes the same in the office. When you have a major win in one department delve into what other complementary areas need to be improved to support that win. Celebrate the big wins but be sure not to let them lull you into a false sense of security. Just ask the teams that chose Kwame Brown or Greg Oden about how much success they generated!

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