Resignation #1: Trevor Hohns

Hohns has resigned from his job as Cricket Australia's chairman of selectors. The writing seemed to have been on the wall ever since Mark Waugh called for this a few weeks ago, and for some selectorial errors lately.

What is stunning is the following quote from the SMH article:

A CA statement said the decision came due to Hohns's increasing business commitments, which will occupy a lot more of his time due to the pending retirement of his business partner.

Two things about this quote:

1. At least it didn't use the old "he needed to spend more time with his family" reason, although I think "business commitments" is similar in being a clayton's reason.
2. CA has gazillions of dollars that it pays its staff and the players. Surely there is room to have a full-time paid selection committee, made up of experts and/or former players?

1 comment:

apodeictic said...

I'm not sure wanting to spend more time with the family is always a "claytons reason". I can think of at least 3 different cases where people cite family reasons in their decision to retire/ resign.

Citing family reasons -- particularly in the world of top-level sport or business -- is very often just a convenient cover for the real reasons. Many people just get sick of the job or decide to get out for other reasons and then publicly justify the decision with reference to family, but have no desire to spend extra time with the family. Telling the truth here would reflect poorly on both the employer and the employee. If (hypothetically speaking of course) Trevor Hohns were to say that he's retiring because he found the job a total bore and his fellow selectors completely obnoxious it would reflect very poorly on both him and the Australian Cricket Board (or "Cricket Australia" in Orwellian Newspeak). It's much easier to go quietly by telling the lie about family reasons (or business commitments or whatever). This saves face for all parties concerned.

Here people are genuine in their desire to spend more time with family but this desire isn't a motivating factor in the decision to retire/ resign. Such people confuse the *consequence* of their decision to retire/ resign with the their *motivation* to retire/ resign. Their motivation might be completely unrelated to family, (eg they found the job a total bore) but also look forward to the consequence of their retirement/ resignation (having more time to spend with family).

There are also cases where family reasons do actually motivate people to retire/ resign from a particular job (particularly one involving a lot of travel) -- in other words where the desire to spend more time with the family is a decisive motivating factor.

So while "spending more time with the family" is very often a genuine Claytons reason (a downright lie!) and very often it's a confused reason (mistaking consequence for motivation), I don't think we should be so cynical to suggest that it is never a genuine reason.