Many of you know I am a huge Manchester United fan (it’s out in the open) and before you say “well it’s just another big team”, I was a fan back in the
70’s when believe it or not they were in the second division!
My Grandfather was a city supporter and my father supported United out of spite. Enough family history! But
Ole Solskjaer took over with a smile, a vision and a swagger and I suddenly thought to myself this is what’s missing. If you are happy, your team is happy then perhaps anything is possible. But happiness in the face of intense pressure, well that takes
British football (not gridiron) is
The argument that this has become a habit
Atlassian, themselves and so have many others, emphasized the importance of the team. There is a famous saying that ” Neil Armstrong didn’t land on the moon,
The extraordinary financials
Let’s look at some financials. In the 17/18 season the Premiership teams (20) shared
The cost/reward of a win is around $10M USD!! when the whistle blows – every minute of doing better than the opposition over
This doesn’t include other merchandising and ticket sales
Players are now
So let’s do a recap:
- Every win is priceless (well north of $10M anyway)
- Failure is not an option
- Some teams are
handicapedwith many teams 10 times less expensive than their opponents
- They play a lot of games likely 50 + per season
Sound like fun? Not for nothing is this considered the toughest but most successful league in the world. Yet given this situation, some
In one of the most remarkable twists in the game – against all odds a nothing team beat
Let that sink in – and they beat them and
A team with no right to win anything, wins the greatest prize of all. Ranieri, the manager and chief miracle maker
When Jose Mourinho took over after two failed managers and an
- Under Mourinho this season (has won the most premierships and termed himself the “special one”)
- 17 matches 26 points
- they let in 29 goals already (highest ever at this stage of the season)
- Reportedly “lost the dressing room
- a squad valued at $900M
- dropped well out of the top 4 teams
- Under Solskjaer
- Walks into the training ground and gives chocolates to the long serving receptionist and smiles at people
- Tells the team to attack
- Plays the young up coming talent
- Reminds everyone that
itsthe team and not him that matters
- Wins all seven of his first seven games
- Gains in four premiership games nearly half of all the points Mourinho had in the season so far
What do you think happened? A team with a losing personality one minute, and a winning one in the next? Or really a hugely underperforming team that someone
The new managers – Liverpool, Manchester City
, Tottenham Hotspur, Wolves
These terrifically successful teams have
British football isn’t business life. Yet
If objectively based performance is what you aspire to, then there are surely some takeaways.
- Teams perform – measure them
Managers perform when their teams do.
Objectivemeasures of team performance are critical in ensuring this is clear. If you don’t understand if a team is performing, how do you know if change is needed? In the premier league a run of bad results triggers an immediate analysis of change options. Its immediate. Why should business and organizations be any different? Ranieri is an outstanding, record brakingmanager buthe still wasn’t able to keep performing – happiness isn’t everything.
- Managers are
extremelyimportant – find managers who care about the team
The premier league tells us that
itsnot impossible to be hyper competitive, yet well balanced and a caring manager. These are the managers that are winning. The right manager for the right situation can take a team that is failing miserably to one that iscapable of very high performance. In football there is a phenomenon called the “new manager pop” – a boost based on fresh perspectives and a new vision can simplybring early results – although not always sustained. Management styles vary – if the team is first then match the manager to the team not the other way around.
- Change managers more often
Because of the above making change more frequently is probably better than blaming the team. Re-assignment as a norm means it won’t
be considereda failure. You have to faila lot in the premiership, before you are considerednot capable – because well, there are so many casualties. Its actuallyconsidered good experience!
- Staff and Managers are resilient
One of my favorite scenes is from
Moneyball. In advising his manager on how best to let a player go – the approach is just to sit them down, tell them plainly they are being traded and make it a low impact experience, because the trauma is there all by itself. Stay dynamic – run the organization like a high performing, fluid, passing rich, team oriented, happy operation or business. In a football team players are often droppedfor games. More often than not they compete with another player just to play. Its incrediblycompetitive. Yet the best teams become a stable group with the underlying notion that performance justifies your position.
- Management needs to stay positive and smile
No matter how bad it gets –
itsalways worse for the team. Even when Liverpool loses andthat’s not often– Jurgen Klopp goes onto the pitch and projects positive energy, he doesn’t run into the dressing room to hide his pain.
Maybe happy is the new successful.