In a bad system, can any manager succeed?
I grew up a Detroit Lions fan, as difficult as that could be (thankfully, we had Barry Sanders to enjoy). The Lions have fired yet another coach. Who would want to take this job next?
This reminds me of a previous company, where a General Manager of a division was let go, I mean moved on, after about 15 months in the job. An executive assistant, in a moment of total honesty, blurted out:
“Wow, the GM before him couldn’t make the numbers either.”
I don’t know if she was thinking “we had two bad GM’s in a row” but I was thiking “Wow, this must be a systemic problem, maybe the bar is set too high and these guys have unrealistic expectations. Maybe our products are overpriced and we’re too far behind technology wise? Maybe this is just a bad business where anyone but Jack Welch would struggle?”
Either way, it’s something to think about…. do you blame a succession of managers, supervisors, engineers, operators or do you fix the systemic and cultural root causes?