After 26 years in charge of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has resigned. You don’t need to be a football fan, or even a sports fan to know who Fergie is. And don’t worry; this blog isn’t going to be some indulgent (yes I am a Red) review of his staggering success and the legacy he has left.
His resignation was apparently a shock and came out of the blue. If that is the case the corridors of Old Trafford should now be running wild with panicked executives in crisis mode.
What is going to happen now? Who is going to fill that big hole he leaves? Will others leave now that he is going?
But I suspect the opposite is happening. I suspect that this day has been in the planning for some time. And as such, their business has the answers to all the above questions. If your star employee resigned, would you already have the answers?
When someone resigns, it is usually a surprise, unless you are managing them out of the business (or they are 71 years old!). We don’t see it and therefore we are not prepared. So a desk sits empty, or a team has no manager, or a business has no leader until a replacement is found. And that can take some time. You might end up having to compromise on someone not quite as good.
The bigger the star, the bigger the problem. But the bigger the star, the less likely we are to be prepared. Because why would our star leave?
Well they do. You probably did once, or you might in the future. It might have been for a better opportunity, or to start your own business, or because you were relocating. It would be stupid to think you are immune from anyone in your team resigning. So it is also stupid not to do anything about it in preparation.
Most of us will know who some of our competitors are. Some will know exactly who is who in the zoo. But even if you know every name, their kids names, their birthday and where they go on holiday it doesn’t really help you if they don’t know you. Hiring another star takes time. They don’t apply for jobs, and probably won’t move just because you call them out of the blue and offer more money. It usually happens over months or years of phone calls, emails, meetings, and lunches. So when you need to act, you are already talking to a lot of them. Much more chance of making your problem go away quickly that way, than starting to think about it when the resignation happens.
….*WARNING Shameless plug for recruiters coming up…..*
If you haven’t got the time, energy, interest or capability to do it yourself, get a recruiter involved. Let them stay in contact with the stars for you.
So, when Jose Mourinho is announced as Fergie’s successor, it isn’t because they spoke to him for the first time last night after Fergie resigned. It is because they have been courting him for years, knowing that one day they wanted the self-proclaimed chosen one to take over. It is no coincidence that Mourinho started to make rumblings about wanting to come back to England as long as two years ago. Here’s hoping anyway…..
Whilst you are reading this your star might be emailing you their resignation. Are you prepared ?