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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Time after time

“I need a little time.......” - so say the Beautiful South (English late 80’s / 90’s pop band of some repute!!) - and with today’s announcement that Chelsea FC are onto manager # ‘lots’ with Andre Villa-Boas exciting appointment, there is a general consensus (example here) that Roman Abramovich really needs to give the new manager a good period of time to ‘work things out’.....
The most famous british example is of Sir Alex Ferguson - 20+ years at Man Utd, but within minutes of the boot (losing his job) after a tough start.  Wow - how the ‘time given’ back then has paid off since then - 12 league titles, 2 European Cups, and plenty more.  And in the past 8 years - since Roman started his wealth-assault on the title, Manchester have claimed 1/2 the titles available.  With the same manager safe in his position.......

However, big-spender Roman, who keeps changing coach in search of the table top, has claimed 3 titles in that same period.  So - with time on his side - Sir Alex has claimed 4.  And with no time at all, the various Chelsea managers have claimed 3.  Having time might not seem to be as key after all??? #thespecialonemayhavehelped
If Villa-Boas is not the future superstar that he is hyped to be, when will Roman know??  How will he know??  And how long does he give himself to decide if he knows....???  And if he knows quickly, should he wait to open the exit door for another ‘failed’ coach....???
Time is a resource.  Like the oil at the pumps, like the cash in the bank.  It is a resource that is scarce - especially when the league has an annual deadline (though time can run out well before then).  Using it correctly can drive your business forward - and misusing it can lead to hugely damaging consequences.    We all chase results - and increasingly financial pressure means those results are needed NOW.  
But there are other resources we use when making decisions.  Effort (over time), knowledge, communication, talent, teamwork, gut feel, and maybe a little bit of luck... (and lots of other variables for sure) all claim our attention.  
A leader’s job (though equally relevant for any decision maker) is knowing how to use each of these factors, how to analyze the effectiveness of same, and ultimately make that decision (to sack or not to sack or otherwise).
We all want lots of time - we just need to work out how best to use it.

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