Batuhan: Fast-track management

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By Allan S. B. Batuhan

Foreign Exchange

Friday, April 11, 2014


DURING the last few weeks, a number of seemingly “miraculous” sporting exploits have hit the headlines.

First off was the fairytale run of Ateneo’s Lady Eagles. It was a team supposedly destined for future glory, with recruits who were deemed to be promising, though not quite mature enough for a championship campaign. But it seemed like no one told the future hopefuls about this, because for them, their future was now. And true enough, they beat heavy favorites De La Salle, to win for Ateneo their first ever volleyball crown in the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) era.

Further afield, an evolving fairytale run continues to unfold.

Liverpool Football Club is one of the most decorated teams in all of sports. Boasting numerous English first division titles and several European Cup successes, the Reds of Merseyside have not, unfortunately, had too much glory coming their way, for the better part of a generation already.

Not since the 1990’s have the boys from Liverpool lifted the Premier League trophy. In fact, they have never won the top prize in English Football, since the first division was renamed the Premier League. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and even Blackburn Rovers have already won the coveted trophy, but not Liverpool. And it pains them even more that while they have won nothing, their arch-rivals Manchester United have been winning almost all those titles that they did not. Talk about rubbing salt into old wounds.

Today, however, a different story is being told.

Led by a charismatic manager, a rehabilitated bad boy of a striker and a talismanic captain in the twilight of his playing career, Liverpool is making a push for its first league trophy in over twenty years. And improbable as it may seem, their fate seems to be in their own hands as far as this matter is concerned. No matter that this team is being labeled, like the Lady Eagles, as being one for future glory. To their players, their time is now, and they all seem bent on seizing their day.

This brings me to the matter of many of today’s young managers, who do not seem to be
patient enough to wait around for future success.

For many of them, the time is now to be able to get ahead in their own organizations.

Never mind that, like the Lady Eagles and the Red Men of Liverpool, they are still too “green” to really be able to take on major responsibility.

We know, however, that impatience can work both ways.

Another recent sporting fairytale has been the run of the freshmen-led Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA national crown. In the end, they were stopped by the University of Connecticut, whose less-talented but more experienced seniors eventually overcame to might of UK’s youth, to beat them to the crown. Which is perhaps why Kentucky’s Julius Randle is now rethinking his plan to join the NBA right after freshman year, in order to try to win the crown for UK next year.

Like Randle, impatient young managers ought to take heed of the young wildcat’s example. After all, he almost tasted what could have been, and is therefore all the more encouraged to gain more experience, so he could finally realize the promise of what is to yet to be.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 12, 2014.

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