All eyes will be on Cheltenham Festival this week as the UK’s premier hurdle event attracts crowds from far and wide.
As well as winning (or losing) a few quid at the bookies, there’s also plenty of ways in which you can pick up a few tips that can help you become a better manager in your workplace.
How we hear you cry? Well, it was a bit of a long-shot proving this to one to you, but we’ve managed to pull together a list of similarities between horse racing and management to tie-in with our continuing sponsorship of the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdles Final, taking place at this week’s Cheltenham Festival.
Understand that it’s a long race
Whether it’s a campaign you’re working on, a new strategy or detailed proposal to the Board; you need to take your time, think of the bigger picture and look long-term. Short term solutions and quick wins may be beneficial, and requested, but it’s not always plans that are ‘first-past-the post’ that bring the greatest rewards. Plan for the long course, from beginning to the end, predicting hurdles that will need to be overcome and working with other professionals to plan the right course.
Hedge your bets
You may be utilising external agencies for specialist support, working with suppliers or hiring contractors to complete specific tasks; either way, hedge your bets! Protect your reputation, and your business, by keeping your options open. Are there better providers on the market? Could working with more than one agency give better benefits? Is the cheapest supplier the only one worth considering? Pay attention to the finer details, look ahead to the future, but don’t jump straight in and give up on all the processes that have worked well in the past.
Take off those blinkers
An ability to keep looking into the future is a must for any manager. However, it’s not all about looking at what’s straight in front of you. Look outwards for inspiration: what are your competitors doing? What market insights can you lean on for inspiration and knowledge? And while it may be full steam ahead, don’t forget to stop once in a while and take a look back at what’s behind you. What legacies have been left? What processes and practices are worth continuing? Tunnel vision is something to avoid for any manager.
Don’t count on recent winners to stay in the winner’s circle
You may have one or two shining stars in your team who have enjoyed some spectacular successes of late. It makes sense to keep backing them, ensure they’re in excellent condition and give them all the support they need to keep riding high. However, don’t put all of your faith just in a chosen few. There should be no losers in your team. Ensure everyone gets the same respect, training and guidance and, you never know, the ones who have endured something of a slow start could be the ones who in the future reap you the most rewards.
Get out stakes
AKA the ‘desperation stakes.’ Always the last race on the card and your last roll of the dice. As a manager, you will on more than one occasion be forced to make some big calls be it about your team, strategy, workforce planning or finances. The question is: how much are you willing to chance in the last-ditch effort to walk off a winner? Be warned though, as often happens in horse racing, those who gamble the most at this stage tend to walk away with the least. It can often end in tears – but that big gamble could also pay off. Will you take the risk?
Check out the rest of our blogs for more career advice.