Leadership lessons from Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho

I’m European champion. So I’m not one of the bottle. I think I’m a special one.“Jose Mourinho”

Jose Mourinho has been dismissed as manager of Manchester United.

That moment in 2004 when he joined Chelsea and called himself “the special one seems a long way off.

Three premierships, and I won more premierships alone
than the other 19 managers together. Three for me, and two for them. Respect, respect, respect, man.
“Jose Mourinho”

His arrogance when winning and grumpiness when losing mean he won’t be missed by many, but as the football coaches say, let’s take away some positives.

What are the leadership lessons from Mourinho’s decline and fall?

Successful leadership in sport or in business depends on four things.

Most of them have to go right most of the time, and at least three of them went wrong at Manchester United under Mourinho.

First, performance.

United had slipped down the Premier League table and may even struggle to make the top four. Business gurus may urge innovators and leaders to embrace failure, but that is not the sort of hug any football manager, let alone football fan, welcomes.

Second, mindset.

As leader, you’re responsible for ensuring that your team thinks positively.

Mourinho’s critics would say he’s a negative manager,

but if your negative approach infects your team, you will struggle to
motivate them to new heights.

Third, confidence.

Not just confidence about winning, but the confidence your team and your bosses show in your leadership.

Mourinho lost the dressing room, as the saying goes, but more to the point, he also lost the support of United’s owners, who were second-guessing him on, for instance, the players he wanted to sign.

And finally, culture.

Manchester United have one of the strongest cultures in world football.

It’s hard to destroy that, and whoever takes over from Mourinho will
at least have that to build on. But relying on culture alone when performance, mindset, and confidence have all disintegrated is like trying to win a football match when your three forwards have been sent off. And at that point, it’s the coach who needs to leave the pitch.
Respect, man.

Source: FT management editor Andrew Hill

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