Crozier or Benitez: You Decide

I have been wrestling with the big leadership question of the week. Who is likely to be in his job longer, Adam Crozier of the Royal Mail, or Rafa Benitez of Liverpool Football club?

Mr Benitez’s team has suffered from injuries, losses on the field, and departure of key players. Worse, he has received a formal endorsement from his employers that his job is safe. It is part of football black humour to assume that any leader offered such an endorsement is far from safe in the job. His team faced one of those crunch matches over the weekend. We will never know what might have happened to Rafa if Liverpool had lost their sixth successive game. The players rose to the challenge and defeated their bitter rivals Manchester United.

Earlier in the day, the CEO of Liverpool FC gave Rafa that dreaded endorsement

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has been handed long-term job assurances by the club’s managing director Pressure has been mounting following a miserable run of four successive defeats. But Christian Purslow told Sportsweek: “Liverpool are on a long-term journey and you do not do that by worrying about short term results. Rafa Benitez is absolutely central to that long-term plan.”


Mr Crozier has appeared to be slumbering while his company sank into irretrievable strategic trouble and imminent industrial relations conflicts. His management team also seemed to be facing a crunch match with the rampant forces of the Workers Communication Union.

The fate of these leaders way be settled by factors outside their control. But there may be indicators of the strength of the limpet factor in each case. Rafa is believed to have a high Limpet factor in the penalty clauses which would be triggered on his dismissal. Adam Crozier’s financial arrangements are unlikely to be such a consideration for his employers, which arguably include the Government (which claims not to want to interfere).

What do you think?


6 Responses to Crozier or Benitez: You Decide

  1. […] its subscribers. In the meanwhile you can take part in a quick unscientific poll by going to the Leaders we deserve blog site. Click here to cancel reply. Have your […]

  2. Adam says:

    Hi Tudor,

    Interesting post in relation to Rafa and Adam Crozier. Is there an element of distributed leadership when players and directors come out to support the manager?

    I think Rafa has displayed excellent leadership skills in the past, even more so when the things are going bad for Liverpool – May 2005 Istanbul?

    It raises the question of who is the leader at a football club with so many leaders. At Liverpool Steve Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Jamies Carragher, Dirk Kuyt, Pepper Reina, Javier Mascherano. And thats on the field. The new MD has brough in additional revenue through a new advertising deal. Rafa picks and trains the team. Look at Manchester United with Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney. You could go through many football and sports teams where the learder is in many formats leader different with one common goal to win football / sports matches with their own responsibilities.

    With the group each contributes so to achieve the goal of winning the even.

    Adam Crozier is digging deep and it appears more a personality contest someone trying to find a solution. He was always going to have a difficult job changing a nationalised institue into a privatised competitive corporate. The BBC reports today sugges 35 million items are back logged which will only serve to increase the business for the competition whilst continuing to tarnish the reputation of Royal Mail.

    After joing in February 2003 Corzier made cuts to personnel and outlets. In 2008 the BBC reported a loss for Royal Mail of £297m for 2007 with Corziers pay that year £3m increasing almost three times.

    May 2009 will show Rafa still in a job holding the Premier League Title alongside Steve Gerrard. Mr Crozier will be at another corporation.

  3. Tudor says:

    So there you go. One Adam tips another. I find football an example of a domain which demonstrates the gap between the mythology of the great leader/saviour and the evidence for multiple (distributed) leader roles. Have you come across the “Social Architects” theory which Sven took very seriously?

    PS: voting today puts nearly 70% votes cast for Crosier to depart before Rafa. But this could be posties, and sad people who do multiple voting.

  4. Tudor says:

    Voting pattern
    Friday night Crozier 69% Benitez 31%
    Sat morning Crozier 65% Benitez 35%
    Sunday morning Crozier 60% Benitez 40%

    Shifts in %s will now be smaller unless there is a substantial shift in voting towards one or other of the
    other candidates. Liverpool lost again; POstal strikes appear deadlocked…Hmm.

  5. Tudor says:

    Wed night: Liverpool draw in European match with Lyon. Very likely to fail to get through the next round.

    Thursday afternoon Crozier 53% Benitez 47%

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