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End of an era, what happens when you lose your superstar?

Posted by
05 Jan 2015
On Friday Steven Gerard announced that he will be leaving Liverpool FC at the end of the season to spend his last playing days in North America, following in the footsteps of David Beckham and Thierry Henry who also opted for a move to the States before hanging up their boots.

Whilst he's been at Liverpool they have won every major trophy (apart from the Premier League), he also has over 100 caps for England, as well as captaining the national side along with his boy-hood club, all of this on top of a host of individual accolades.

Regarded by many as Liverpool's greatest ever player, his departure offers manager Brendan Rodgers a much bigger problem than the sentimental loss of a true heavyweight. It is the same problem every business faces when losing a star performer, what do you now to fill the void?

When most people decide to leave their job they will typically give their manager one to three months' notice which allows the initial panic to settle and means the manger has time to think about what they do next. Brendan Rodgers is no different from anyone else who manages a team (whether that is a football team or finance team), so his options of what to do next than if a Finance Director lost one of their most experienced team members.

  1. You can replace them directly with the appointment of someone externally who is already working at the same level and with the necessary experience - perfect solution for some, however this sounds much easier than it actually is in practice!
  2. You can always look inside your organisation at your current talent pool to source a replacement who you can promote. For most businesses promoting 'home grown' talent is a preference and if you're able to do this it's great. However you have to be sure that the person stepping up is ready to fill the boots of the departed and you're not comprising on quality. After all it's not very easy to replicate Stevie G!
  3. Thinking outside of the box, why replace the person who is leaving directly? Can you change the shape of their role, distribute the work out between the team and recruit two or three junior people instead of one experienced individual? This will always be a risk, but is sometimes a more practical solution than spending months searching for something which may not actually be out there.
When Steven Gerrard leaves Liverpool, I know that I'll never look at the number eight shirt the same way again, however deep down I know that everyone is replaceable, and one way or another, life will move on at Anfield.

Just like when any business loses good people, in the short term it's natural to feel shocked and a bit disappointed, but if you ensure that efforts are quickly refocused on the future and developing the new talent pool and team, things will be back on track in no time…I hope this is the case for Liverpool anyway!

If your team is changing in 2015, why not speak to me about finding your next team member. Contact me on 0151 834 1642.
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