Blame the Manager… it’s easier in the long run


Being Scottish it’s a painful time for me… not only did the national side not qualify for South Africa, but now we’re embroiled in the selection process for a new manager.

Of course, I’m talking about our national football team…

It makes it even harder because George Burley was both a player and the manager of Ipswich Town, my husband’s favourite team, where he enjoyed considerable success. He also managed Southampton and Hearts.

Hearts were top of the league when Burley lost his job, having already beaten Rangers and Celtic in that season.

The reason I’m telling you all this is to let you know that Burley is a good manager. He’s been there, done it, got the t-shirt, etc., etc.

On the other hand, Scotland has had a least five managers in the last ten years, have failed to qualify for any major competition at the last three attempts, has a national league that is, once again, in turmoil, with effectively a league of two, with everyone else playing for third place!

And yet, we still sack the manager.

The word scapegoat springs to mind.

The search is on for a new manager for Scotland’s national team and already five ‘big’ names have ruled themselves out and we’re left with five or six relatively unknown and unsuccessful (in terms of silverware) managers.

To me, it seems as though the problem is not with the manager but with the system… there’s something fundamentally wrong with the business of football in Scotland itself.

This got me to wondering about parallels in EB…

How many times, as managers or business owners, do we put pressure on our people either formally or informally, through ‘little chats’, to perform better?

How many times do we do this and, actually, the problem lies elsewhere and our people are making as good a fist of things as they can, given the constraints they face?

The challenge, of course, is to recognise this as an issue; mostly because what we’ve built over the years has to be perfect, doesn’t it? But then I got to wondering how I could apply this to my business… where I could make life easier for my people and immediately thought (somewhat guiltily) of a number of areas where I know things aren’t quite right but haven’t done anything with yet…

So, before having a ‘little chat’ with one of my people in future I’m going to have a look at the parameters in which they are working first… I might still end up having the chat, but think of the time and money and goodwill I’m going to save!

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