The fundamental principles of both roles are interchangeable, after all, the key to success is to score more goals than you let in.
Managers in both football and business must make responsible decisions. It is the role of the manager to keep a cool head, resist the rash choice to make a calculated judgement, and adapt to every situation. For example it would be absurd to panic buy Andy Carroll for a heavily inflated fee of £35 million only to later sell him at a £20 million loss two years later, wouldn’t it?
There are several managing styles that can be applied to them both – which football manager are you most like?
José Mourinho, Chelsea Manager – The directive or coercive manager has the objective of achieving immediate compliance from employees and is very much the ‘do it as I tell you’ manager. This type of management style is effective in crisis, and people find reassurance in direct orders in a difficult time. This style is not for everyone as it relies on motivating a team through threats or discipline, and with a highly talented team this can be counterproductive. However, it has proved successful and can be very much likened to the management style of Mourinho, who has a distinct style of football that he instils into his players, regardless of the club he is managing.
Brendan Rogers, Liverpool Manager – The authoritative management style, the firm but fair approach, provides long term direction for his team. This applies to many football managers who will let the team know where they want to be by the end of the season, motivating by persuasion and feeding back on task performance, and will have the whole season to achieve this goal. Likewise, many businesses should have a monthly, quarterly and annual goal whereby each team member is made accountable for achieving set KPI’s, which are related to the end goal.
Diego Simeone, Athletico Madrid Manager – The affiliative manager is one who creates harmony between the manager and team, and puts the team first and the task second. This is often most successful when used alongside other management styles, and is risky to implement solely. This technique is less used in football as, although harmony is important, and the best interests of the player remain at the forefront of the managers’ mind, a football team need to be completely focussed upon the task, and this is also true for business.
Many of the most successful businesses and football teams rely heavily upon the team having a constant focus upon the task in hand, and therefore this style may be less seen among them. Simeone does not lack a focus upon the task, however he is a firm favourite among the players and fans due to being the former captain of his current team Athletico Madrid, and it can therefore be argued he uses the affiliative style a lot more than other managers.
David Moyes, ex Everton and Manchester United Manager – The parcipitative management style relies upon everyone having an input and focusses on building commitment among employees or teammates. An important feature of this style relies upon everyone having an input on decision making. This style is successful in business when staff are experienced and work together in a steady working environment. Likewise it is an effective way of leading a football team as it values every players’ input and can draw the most impressive results from them. Despite Moyes’ misfortune during his time at Manchester United, he utilised the knowledge and experience of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville to assist him during his short time at United.
Sir Alex Ferguson, ex Manchester United Manager – Finally there is the coaching style, which focusses on the long term development of a team. Of course, this style is the most common approach of management in football, although it is often not done solely by the manager. It focusses on creating depth to the squad and becoming a long term success. This is also used in business to mould an individual into the company’s style of operating, however a manager must remain a leader and cannot use too much time coaching individual employees. Sir Alex Ferguson was very involved in the development side of management and played a key part in bringing the ‘Class of 92’ into the first team squad in 1995, which later proved to be a huge success.
If none of the above apply, maybe you are Paolo Di Canio? He wears his heart on his sleeve and says it how it is. However, whilst his passion for the game cannot be criticised, Di Canio is no stranger to putting his foot in it.
Don’t be afraid of getting it wrong. Losses will strengthen your game plan. Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably the most successful manager in football history, used failure to his advantage and vowed never to make the same mistake twice, this notion can also be applied to business. Learning from your mistakes is one of the most valuable lessons that business can teach, and as Winston Churchill stated ‘success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm’.
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