Here you are, the perennial winning Head Men’s Basketball Coach from the University of North Carolina, Roy Williams, and you go on a local radio show to say that you possess one of the least gifted teams in your career. This explains why, you say, that your team finds itself not winning as many games as you normally do.
The fact remains, though, that Roy Williams recruited the team. He put the team together. Williams didn’t inherit the players, but instead actually selected the students to play.
Granted, some of the players left college early for the pros and others find themselves sidelined on the bench with injuries. Nevertheless, the team remains Roy Williams’ creation so their play reflects as much on his ability than theirs.
CEOs oftentimes publicly point fingers at their employees when things don’t go well. When this happens, people — investors, customers and partners — will look at the leader and ask “Isn’t that your responsibility?”
A better way for Roy Williams to explain this would start by stating something to the effect that “Look, we had a lot of our top players leaving, and we now ask a lot of our young students to step up earlier than we anticipated. This will take some time.” That should give him some cover with UNC boosters and fans. Instead, Roy Williams created a mini-crisis of his own doing because of some silly, off-the-cuff phrase. It’s a perfect example of how a CEO can really make matters worse by being stupid.