Optimum Length of Tenure?

Had a thoroughly enjoyable catch-up with an old pal of mine called Anthony (wierdly Tony to his other friends!) visiting London that currently works on retail merchandising in Kuwait.  Apart from insisting we had to go for a meal featuring pork (absent from Kuwaiti shelves for the usually irrational religious reasons, and for those of you who don’t already know, I’m with Richard Dawkins on all that) and imbibed some quality wine (similarly lacking Kuwait-side, although apparently, where there’s a will….), he got to mulling over how long he should stay in his job for.

He had an entertaining insight into the optimum length of time someone judged on sales figure achievement should stay in one place.  I wonder how many sales managers out there think in these terms….?

Year One – consolidate the current position, put plans in place to grow the next year

Year Two – grow, grow & grow, whatever you do, make sure you hit growth

Year Three – get out, move on!

One consequential remisicent diversion, was of the legendary English industrialist, and first business-TV star, John Harvey-Jones.  His ‘Troubleshooter’ exploits in the early 90s were a joy to follow, and as a result I read one of his books, Making it Happen.  My memory’s a bit rough on this, but I recall he did mention that between leaving the Navy and becoming Chairman of global behemoth ICI, he’d had around 10 jobs during the intervening almost-30 years, which suggests that he followed a remarkably similar strategy to my pal Anthony!

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