Is managing a football club so different to being a senior manager in
a Local Authority?Both are challenged to motivate talented
individuals. Both have a vision and a plan for the future whilst being
required to deliver improved performance in the short term. In both
cases recruitment and retention will reflect and determine progress.
The amount of money available and the priorities for spending it are
familiar discussions in both the boardroom and cabinet. Both seek to
manage their relationship with the media, build links with the local
community and aim to keep the public on side despite some unpopular
decisions and poor performances.
But could a Local Authority senior manager get away with giving a
team member the “hair dryer treatment” or kicking a boot across the
room in anger and hitting a colleague in the head who subsequently
needed stitches as Alex Ferguson apparently did. Should a LA senior
manager have such control over an employees life that they can
discipline an individual for missing a training session to be at the
birth of his first child as Brian Cloth did. Could a LA senior
managers get away with fining a worker a weeks wages for some minor
misdemeanour or imposing random drugs tests? How would your staff
react to an email from the boss that listed restrictions on holiday
activities like skying or sky diving? The best managers know the
people who work for them as individuals so would you be comfortable
forcing someone out of the organisation just because the chairman
though he could bring in a bigger name?
If LA managers treated their staff the way football clubs and
football managers treat their players they would probably end up with
a similar turnover rate and more strikes than a bowling alley.
Blair McPherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk