Blyth Spartans beat Blackburn Rovers.

6 01 2009

Yesterday evening Blyth Spartans of the Blue Square Premiership (North) played Blackburn Rovers of the FA Premier League in the 3rd Round (proper) of the FA Cup. If football means nothing to you, the fact that Blyth are 118 league places below their opponents should put things in a little context.

Blackburn rested 11 of their first team. In other words all of them. They still managed to field a team that included 6 full internationals amongst them Chilean, Carlos Villanueva who scored the only goal of the game from a superb free kick in the 58th minute. Blackburn won.

Thinking about the success of leaders and managers it is hard to establish or even find an effective metric. Did Sam Allardyce, the Blackburn boss, have a more successful day managing to escape humiliation by only 1 goal fielding his 2nd XI against a team they should have thrashed?  Or did Harry, ” The ‘Tache ” Dunn do better in leading his team of no-hopers from their day jobs (even he’s a caretaker in a children’s respite home) to within 5 minutes of a unthinkable draw against a team worth millions of pounds?


Sometimes we see management and leadership successes as only those that win the major trophies, make the massive difference or seriously change the world. I’m starting to understand that management and leadership successes happen every day. They are in the small things of life not the popping champagne corks. They are in the encouragement and support, development and nurture of colleagues in making slow and steady progress in their own existence whatever that is and against whatever opposition there might be. I don’t think there is an accepted metric for that.

How do you think we measure management success? I don’t know. I do know which of yesterday’s managers was the most successful.

Who’s your local management hero? Mine? It’s Harry Dunn.




2 responses

30 01 2009
Ravi Tangri

Before you start to measure anything, you need to be more clear about what you are measuring. To me, management and leadership are two very different beasts, and you need different ways of measuring them. Even if you’re talking leadership, you need to go into more depth to lay out what you mean. The term ‘leadership’ has be so overused and abused that there’s a whole range of possible meanings.

To me, this has to be behaviour-based. You have to identify what behaviours the type of leadership you’re looking for involves, and those are what you measure.

For me, the best ‘tool’ for providing a quantitative metric are behaviour-based 360-degree leadership surveys. One person’s opinion is subjective, but when you average several of these subjective perceptions, you can develop a much more objective measure of where a person is, particularly when you compare and contrast it with his/her own perception.

Bottom line here is that these surveys need to identify specific behaviours and their frequency, so that you can develop a behavioural action plan to improve, not just warm and fuzzy statements like ‘I’ll listen better.’

1 02 2009

thanks for the comment Ravi.

the tool you describe would give an value placed on the leader by the people in their “orbit”.

the successes i am alluding to are not always recognised by such tools.

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