Imagine that you are about to make a
critical senior appointment for your company. In fact an
appointment that is widely regarded as the most crucial and high
profile in the industry. Getting the right man (or woman) for the
job is essential to your immediate future success. You consult your
colleagues, you perhaps speak to some head hunters about who is out
there. Then you interview only one candidate and immediately
Could you do that? I don't think I
could. Even if I knew exactly who I wanted for the job, and in our
industry it is easy to think that you know or know of all the top
people, you would want to bring in more than just one person to
talk to. I also think I would want some people who were left of
field to interview if only to endorse my decision.
Yet this was the stunning process for
the role of England Manager. One interview, one job offer. As far
as I know, no backup plan.
Hodgson's appointment underwhelmed the
football pundits of the nation. The nation, against all objective
evidence to the contrary, thinks of the England team as a complete
set of world beating footballers who are just one world beating
football manager short of winning the European Championship. Roy
Hodgson isn't known for this. His reputation is built on taking mid
table teams to the height of their potential (Switzerland,
My resident football expert thinks
that this makes him an interesting appointment. He pundits that if
we look at the England team with our heads and not our hearts they
are more like a "mid table" team that needs a manager who can make
them over achieve against technically better teams (Spain, Germany,
It has long been my observation that
we talk about England's performance in international competitions
with a surprising degree of shocked disappointment when once again
they don't do that well. We come up with theories of (excuses for)
why this has happened (including bounce of ball, the other team's
dirty play, the weather, the presence (or absence) of wives and
girlfriends and missing goal line technology).
This is also what can happen when your
team fail to win a pitch. The brief was rubbish, the client wasn't
listening, the support team let you down, the IT failed, the
biscuits were stale.
This hedonistic editing gets you
nowhere. Certainly it makes you feel better about what has
happened. It allows your bruised ego to find comfort. It does not
put you in a position to have a better chance of winning the next
pitch. Truth hurts, but truth is necessary for progress.
If you don't want to see the plug for
my book, look away now....
For more about truth in business,
including Alex Ferguson's Wayne Rooney Truth Turning Point my new
book Tell the Truth is available now.
First published here on Sue Unerman's blog.