On Measuring Management

This would have been Gogh’s Law, in honour of Ron Gogh, except he never claimed it was his method. He claimed it was the method of measuring management at Bata when he worked there.

The best way to measure a manager is to look at the careers of everyone who was working for that manager two to two and a half years previously. A manager whose team has progressed better than average probably managed the talents of that team better than average. A manager whose team members have largely stalled, retired early, or quit, probably managed those talents more poorly than average.

I find it interesting that the career progress of one’s team was, somewhere on earth for some length of time, more important than one’s own career progress, or directly fed into its possibilities. I am sure many of us have seen leadership careers progress, based on behaviour that was not centred on the well-being or advancement of team members.

It was a pleasure to work for Ron. He is on my short list of exceptionally enabling individuals. I was lucky, I guess; if you can’t choose your parents, try to choose your manager.

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