Even Small Business Leaders Must Apply the “Trading Deadline” Sometimes

In the movie “A League of Their Own,” about women’s professional baseball leagues during World War II, team manager Jimmy Dugan, played by actor Tom Hanks, proclaimed:

“There’s no crying in baseball.”

Well, it turns out there is.

During Wednesday night’s game New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores, after hearing, erroneously, the Mets had traded him, began to cry and had to be taken out of the lineup.

This is because Flores thought he had been “traded.” (thanks to social media posts sent during the game!)

This has been happening all week in Major League Baseball.

The trading, not the crying.

That’s because 4p.m. today is the “trading deadline.”

This means teams desiring to acquire players they see as a better fit to make a run at a championship, must agree with that player’s current team to exchange (trade) one of their existing players.

After 4p.m. today a transaction like that can still be made but the newly acquired player will not be eligible to play in the post season championship tournament, which negates the reason for acquiring that player.

What does any of this have to do with small business teams?


Because too many small business owners hold on far too long to employees who are no longer a fit for their teams.

Poor attitudes and performance is tolerated in the workplace.

Newer employees brought into the work environment see under-performing employees with bad attitudes tolerated and worked around.

The new employee’s motivation and morale evaporate rapidly, undermining the work environment.

Not one of my clients who has applied the “trading deadline” to certain employees, has ever said to me, “Skip, we let that person go too soon, they’re killing us since our competition hired them.”


The response has always been, “Skip, thanks for pushing us to make that move, I wish we did that a year ago (or more).”

Applying the “trading deadline” in small business must be done strategically and in a compassionate, empathetic manner.

It can’t be as abrupt and sometimes surprisingly, as done in sports.

But, it still must be part of any company’s Performance Management Playbook.

There are five steps to appropriately applying the “trading deadline,” which I’ll share in one of next week’s postings, stay tuned.

What do you think about my concept of the “trading deadline” for small business personnel management? Leave a comment below.

’til next time, Communicate with Power!

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