Letter to the Editor: Regarding ‘Unrest at the Egg Harbor Fire Department’ Article

[Peninsula Pulse, Aug. 7-14]

In the past, I’ve worked with Navy SEALs. They’re the best of the best of the best – the highest-performing organization on the planet. I asked them, “How do you pick the guys who go on SEAL Team 6?” They drew a graph for me. 

On one side, they wrote “Performance,” and on the other side, they wrote “Trust.” The way they define “performance” is one’s performance on and off the battlefield – or your “skills,” however you want to translate that. Performance is traditional. The way they put it is, “I may trust you with my life, but do I trust you with my money and my wife?” 

Nobody wants a person of low performance and low trust, and of course, everybody wants a person of high performance and high trust. What they learned is that the person with high performance and low trust is a toxic leader and a toxic team member. They would rather have a medium or even a low performer with high trust versus a toxic team member. 

The problem in business is that we have lopsided metrics. We have more than a million ways to measure someone’s performance, and negligible to no metrics to measure someone’s trustworthiness. So what we end up doing is promoting toxicity in our businesses, which eventually destroys the whole organization. 

The irony is it’s unbelievably easy to find those toxic people. Ask the team, “Who’s the problem?” They will all point to the same person. 

Equally, if you go to any team and ask, “Whom do you trust more than anybody else? Who’s always got your back?” They will also all point to the same person: a gifted natural leader who creates an environment for everybody else to succeed. That person may not be the highest individual performer, but keep that person on your team.

I believe the Village and Town of Egg Harbor and the Fire Commission need to wake up and realize what’s going on with the “leader” they’ve recently hired.

Simon Sinek

Egg Harbor, Wisconsin