This sounds like a rhetorical question, but it really isn't. How much time should a GM be giving to turn a club around into a perennial contender? There is the question of how much money the owner can spends, how much the city could support the team, the 'farm, etc. Personally, I find it hard to grade the success of a GM because it so nebulous. He should be focused on drafting talent and making trades that pan out in year or two but sometimes these actions take more than a three years to pan out. It a long term investment, not short.
So if I was to rate a GM on how he is doing I would look at these things.
1. Winning records for all farm teams. The more, the better.
2. Turnover on coaching staff. The less, the better.
3. Fan attendance for the parent club.
4. How his peers and the media rate and rank the club and the 'farm' .
It seems like the best GM have been around six years or longer after they have discovered a good building philosophy. Brian Cashman, Dan O'Dowd, Bill Stone, Andrew Friedman, Billy Beane, Theo Epsetien, Walt Jocketty and Brian Sabean, are the shiniest examples I could think of. Right now, I would have a hard time to advocate for Dan O'Dowds removal because what he is doing is working and the consistency that he has provided for the Rockies that have prevented us from becoming the Pirates or the Royals. So in short, I'm glad the Monforts haven't fired Dan O'Dowd.
Anyway, please vote and comment on the poll let me know what you think is the minimum expectation time for a GM to turn around a team. No question is a stupid question.