The term “ball hog” comes from the game of basketball.
“Someone who never passes the ball to other players; and instead, takes all the shots himself.
So what is an “executive ball hog”?
Here are the signs of an executive ball hog:
- Always (or often) the first person to talk in leadership meetings.
- Think or attempt to show that you are the smartest person in the room.
- Surround yourself with consultants, thereby boosting your knowledge and insight, rather than improving the knowledge and insight of your team: You leave them the job of running the everyday business, but exclude them from exciting growth topics.
- Propose and take most, if not all, decisions.
- Have a pattern of interrupting people.
- Feel the need to constantly add to someone’s idea, thereby making it your idea and overriding someone else’s authorship (and ownership).
- Insist on making the big plays yourself, for example when presenting, deciding or negotiating results.
There is nothing wrong with a talented player taking more shots than his or her teammates, as long as it’s part of the team strategy. The senior executive in any team has the final say, because the buck stops with them.
Yet when the CEO, or any other senior executive, complains that they don’t get the buy-in they expect from their executive team or are concerned that they don’t get constructive push back from their executive colleagues, it could be an opportunity to look at how well “the ball” is being shared in the executive team.
Remember, a superstar can win some games, but teamwork wins championships.