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FANS COMMENT

The 7 habits of highly ineffective management

By Phil Lupton  : 30/1/07
I am in the process of reading The seven habits of highly effective people, by Steven R Covey. I have only read two of the seven habits but am already forced into reflecting on how Kenwright and Moyes could benefit from studying the book as well.

The first principle for those of you who are not acquainted with it, is 'Be proactive.' This habit forces you to take stock and check that your perspective on all life's trials and tribulations actually has a bearing on reality and will lead you to a positive change.

The second habit and the one I feel carries the most validity for the point I am trying to make is 'Begin with the end in mind.' The goal of every Evertonian including Bill Kenwright should be regularly winning the World Club Championship, The European Cup, The Premiership and the FA Cup. This is not delusional, it should be what we aspire to and hopefully what we can achieve.

What any effective manager (in this scenario, Kenwright is our manager) should be doing is reviewing our long-term goals and ensuring every employee from Moyes down follows the club ethos. 'Nil Satis Nisi Optimum'. As a club motto, this is a tough one to fulfil; however, low aspirations brings shallow success. If our motto was 'Satis Es Mediocritas', mid-table would be a success and there we would stagnate in our own reflective glory.

The book then emphasises the importance of leadership; this it defines as the hands-on day-to-day running of a business and places its importance to some degree over management. Even if Kenwright was the most effective manager, it would make no difference to the results at Everton if our leader (Moyes) was inefficient or incompetent in his role. It would make no difference how much money you threw at the club, if the match tactics you used were ineffective, if your transfer dealings were amateurish, or if your aspirations were so low that not being relegated was progress.

Does this sound familiar?

I write this piece after reading Jim Hourigan's Open Letter to Bill and couldn't agree more with his sentiments.

We undoubtedly don't have the full story behind the actual events and thinking that go on behind the scenes at Everton. But from my possibly nave position, the management and leadership at Everton is woeful at best. Let's take the Fernandes scenario; we are being made to look like dithering old fools. The player either wants to come or he doesn't, we can either afford him or we can't. Let's not dance the fandango in public making fools of ourselves.

Or how about this quote about Bjarni Vidarsson I found on a fishy blue website:

Moyes says: He did very well and can be pleased with himself. Hes a good footballer and he is capable of getting you a goal from midfield. It might be time for him to go somewhere on loan. I dont know where that would be but well assess the options and make a decision when we need to. (28/01/07)

Does this sound like a highly effective manager and leader partnership that fulfils the ethos of 'Be proactive' and 'Begin with the end in mind'? Or does this sound like your boss at work who has risen through the ranks and now finds themselves in a position that they have neither the talent or the aptitude for?

I once wrote a letter to Bill Kenwright. I told him that as he was a Blue, no matter what happened I knew every decision he made would have the best interests of the club at heart. Just like Jim, however, I am loosing faith in the club which, week-in week-out, either makes or breaks my heart. In a previous article, I queried why no one had shown interest in investing in Everton. If this is how the club is run I think I can now answer my own question.

I am about to start habit three 'Put first things first,' this I would suggest to Kenwright and Moyes. I want them to consider: How do you perceive the current position of Everton FC?, What would you call success at Everton? and How are we going to reach the goals we have set?

I would suggest at this moment in time the answers they have may be subtlety different from yours and mine.

Responses:

Phil, You should widen your reading trying leafing through the pages of Francis Wheen's book How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered The World (Chapter 2) for an elegant analysis of Stephen Covey's and others work. To use Covey's ideas as an appropriate strategy to manage Everton Football Club is tantamount to madness.

I suggest you read Covey's sequel which have classic chapter headings such as 'Eight Ways to Enrich Marriage' and Thirty Methods of Influence' for other pearls of wisdom that have made this Mormon chancer a millionaire many times over.  I would be happier if Davie Moyes read an old Shoot annual than started swallowing some of the drivel peddled by so called Leadership gurus. Ed Fitzpatrick

So Phil, you've read part of the book the whole way through and have concluded Moyes and Kenwright just don't have that dynamic nexus of out-of-the-box synergy necessary for 'effective' people. I mean re: Bjarni, sending a young player out on loan... er didn't Ferguson do that with Beckham? Moyes is obviously not proactive or forward thinking enough is he?

I sincerely hope our manager never mistakes any of that common sense self-help stuff cooked up into pseudo-psychology bullshit so greedily lapped up by middle management morons.
I mean, you've read two out of seven, and you're making grandiose conclusions on the management style of a man you've never worked with? Come off it Phil.

Like you say, we don't know what the goings on at the club are, do we? So how can we make any judgement on Moyes apart from results on the pitch. Tell me his teams are negative or dull, but please spare me the wanker-bingo analysis.
Patrick

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