NFL GMs Ranked in Order of Tenure (Sorry, Texans Fans)
On the surface, the word "loyal" feels positive, and that's because at its core, loyalty is a noble trait that comes from a good place in one's heart.
Photo by Karen Texans' GM Rick Smith, left, keeps getting a pass for failing seasons.
However, in business (and really in any walk of life, but especially business), loyalty has to be based on merit. It can't be blind, nor can it be based largely on emotion. (Emotion, to some degree, will always factor into business decisions.)
Because there is a point in business where being overly loyal to the undeserving crosses over into being disloyal to your high performers. This was brought up repeatedly in this space during the Texans' regular season.
Bob McNair is generally thought to be a good NFL owner. He is undoubtedly a good man, a very wealthy man, and as evidenced by eight seasons of Gary Kubiak an exceedingly loyal man.
But does that make him a good owner?
If you work for him, I would say it makes him a fantastic owner. Employment is awesome. If you are a fan of his team, I would guess your feelings are mixed on how "good" an owner McNair is. If you're a high performing Texans player, your feelings should be, at the very least, mixed, because McNair's loyalty to important members of management has crossed the line to where it's impeded the team's success the last few years.
The results speak for themselves. 61-67 since 2006. Two playoff wins. Good night.
Bob McNair took care of the Kubiak issue back in December, some would argue three seasons too late. (Actually, it's now inarguable. The benefit of hindsight tells us the team would've been better served with a change post-2010.) Still, eight seasons in, general manager Rick Smith remains.