How a football manager gets the best out of his players
Acquiring a strong leader is imperative in grooming a successful team. In sports, the role of a manager as the final decision-maker can determine the team’s potential to reach greater heights.
Fostering social change, adapting to economic progress and building a healthy culture sustains the productivity of a team.
Many people would like to acquire these traits but leaders are not born; they are made by putting in the effort to be a class above the rest.
A leader must attain a behavioural process that encourages individuals to hit their goals and then go on to achieve major success.
The Leaderonomics team recently caught up with Cedric Cha, the director of Launch by Saltycustoms, an online platform that helps brands sell t-shirts and raise funds for a charity or cause.
Cedric plays fullback (or makeshift striker) for his Sunday team, BBNFC.
As a full-time boss and part-time football fan, we picked his brain on some of the parallels between the office and the dugout.
How do managers impact the team?
If players are the hands and feet of a team, the manager is the brain. He chooses the players, deploys the
strategies, and is ultimately responsible for success or defeat.
When a manager “fails” at what he’s doing (i.e. not bringing in trophies), how should one cope with that as a player?
Losing and failure are part of the game, and of life.
Overcoming failure in a team comes down to the trust between the manager and his players. Players look to their manager for encouragement and motivation after a defeat.
The moment a manager loses the trust of his players (also known as “losing the dressing room”), things go downhill from there, which often results in the manager or some players leaving the team.
The dressing room relationship. Is there really a genuine friendship between players or are they just treating it as a job?
It depends. There are teams whose friendship contributes to their success.
In contrast, other teams comprise extremely gifted and competitive individuals who are in the team just to win without necessarily forming friendships.
It is generally easier to succeed in a team in which you trust the other players and of which you enjoy being a part.
However, it also depends on the right player-team fit, as it is possible that the greatest players just do not fit into a certain team.
How does one choose the best players to play a certain match? (In the workplace: picking the right person for a certain role or task)?
The answer lies in training. That is when a manager observes his players and learns about them.
Many underestimate the importance of training. Thinking that Cristiano Ronaldo magically brings his A-game to match day is just silly.
He is able to perform the way he does only because of the work he puts in at training.
This applies to the workplace also. Many want to give presentations that Steve Jobs would be proud of, but few “train” for it. Think of your job as training. What are you doing to be a good presenter?
When leading a meeting, or interacting with groups (both big and small), you are practicing communication, body language, and other skills that make you a better presenter.
Many shy away from such responsibilities on a daily basis, but still want to be chosen to speak on behalf of their company at a conference or event.
Does stability breed success in terms of boosting the team’s success rate in the long run? For example, is it better to develop a team from a young age or make changes every season in terms of players?
This comes down to the culture of a team. Some teams like Barcelona believe in grooming a player from the grassroots to a professional level, while others like Chelsea adopt a culture of bringing in established players to strengthen the team.
Both enjoy equal amounts of success. But once again, certain players, as great as they are, do not fit in with the culture of certain teams.
As a manager, how do you manage other coaches under you? (In the workplace: your board of advisors/heads of department)?
Firstly, be good at what you do. People respect and listen to those who know what they’re doing. Secondly, and just as importantly, inspire those under you. Help them realise their contribution to the team is equally as important as yours.
The manager represents the team in front of the public, while the physiotherapist works hard behind the scenes to ensure the players are not injured.
The team needs both. We all have different roles to play based on our strengths and skills.
Leadership plays an important role in sports.
The different demands according to situations and succeeding in complying with those demands is what makes a great leader.
A great leader must be effective in the most favourable situations as well as the least favourable situations.
In summary: the author’s take
A key element in being a great leader is to know how to breed success and to innovate according to times.
There are many ways to define leadership but essentially, it all boils down to inspiring people to be their best and surpass their highest potential to always have that hunger for continued success.
Everybody wants it, some long for it, but very few actually manage to make it happen.
Inspiring and empowering is, to an extent, a way of life and making it a principle of life will be the difference in becoming a great leader.
Those now referred to as masters such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho have proven that they had earned leadership every day of their lives through hard work, years of practice, and the ability to constantly move with the times.
They reinvented and remodelled the appeal of the sport globally.
They are leaders in their own right because of the desire, the dream and the vision that was embedded
somewhere deep inside them.
Kristofer is a former writer for Leaderonomics. He plays social league football for Radical FC. Share your love for football and experiences with him at firstname.lastname@example.org