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From grit to glory: These managers define true leadership

December 10, 2013 17:27 IST

From grit to glory: These managers define true leadership

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Varun Deshpande, Courtesy TopTalent.in

Find out how they took the stress in good stride and guided their respective teams to rise and shine.

The word 'manager' comes with numerous tags such as 'leadership', 'stress', and 'challenge'.

Management, experts say, is not everyone's cup of tea because it requires leadership, courage, relentlessness, stress-management, patience, ability to overcome numerous challenges, and so on.

However, management is not inherent either; it can be learnt with time and experience.

Some leaders are nurtured through time.

Experience is the best teacher especially when it comes to management and overcoming challenges.

You don't always have to stumble to learn, though. You can learn from others' experiences as well.

Football and Football Managers

Football is a fun sport all over the world. Known through different names in different places, this sport has thrill, passion, and provides a lot of entertainment.

Football is great fun to watch and play but there is a lot of stress in there as well.

Sitting on the bleachers or in front of the television set, it is hard to see the stress factor because the stress is generally behind the scenes; the stress is in the seat of the football managers.

Anyone who even remotely follows football knows that all pressure is on the manager of the team.

The manager is held responsible for bad performances and the current ranking of the respective team.

A few bad performances and all fingers point towards the manager.

More often than not, the manager does not even get a chance to prove his point because he is fired immediately after a few bad results.

Therefore, it is easy to conclude that football managers lead a stressful, uncertain life because they never know what may go wrong and when they might be shown the door.

While some football managers crumple under the pressure and expectations of so many people, there are a few who have thrived.

They took the stress in good stride and actually made their respective teams shine. This led to obvious fame, glory, and celebration.

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Image: A good manager is one who is able to lead his team through challenging situations
Photographs: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

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Courtesy TopTalent.in

Lessons from successful managers

Successful managers are those who prove their mettle.

They have amazing leadership qualities teamed with motivational spirit and relentlessness that keeps them going even when the team is performing badly.

They know how to motivate their players to do better and they know how to ace challenges.

Listed below are a few lessons that every manager can learn from them:

  • The ability to build a solid foundation,
  • The courage to rebuild the entire team when the need comes,
  • The capacity to set very high standards and to inspire each team member to live up to those standards,
  • The attitude to overcome challenges and never relinquish control,
  • The power to observe and learn
  • The knack of adapting to various albeit difficult changes.

Applying these lessons to the workplace

All these lessons can be immediately and directly applied to managing a team at the workplace.

A manager has to meet with similar challenges.

He has to take care of every member of the team, adapt to changes and encourage the team to adapt as well, prepare them to win, set very high standards and always be motivational, and he should have the ability to rebuild the team in case the entire team falls apart.

In short, he has to be able to lead from the front. Football managers teach these lessons with perfection.


Image: Football managers teach you how to motivate a team in crises and help them perform better.
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
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From grit to glory: These managers define true leadership

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1. Jose Mourinho

Formerly popular as The Special One, Jose Mourinho, led a number of teams to success.

Critics say that he was lucky enough to always be given highly talented squads but one can't ignore the fact that the same talented squads including Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Inter Milan were suffering failure after failure until Jose Mourinho took charge and turned things over.

He was able to manage each of these teams to win a number of titles.

He also brought in new players to make each team an amalgamation of superstars and young talent. That is probably one of the main reasons behind his success.


Image: Jose Mourinho with Cristiano Ronaldo
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

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2. Arsene Wenger

This French manager has been in the midst of controversy for a long time.

He has been the Arsenal manager for many years now and Arsenal fans are quite frustrated about the fact that their favourite team has failed to clinch any major trophies.

However, a few things strongly support Wenger's role as a very successful manager.

His previous amazing record aside, one can't overlook the fact that under Wenger, the Arsenal team has always managed to stay in the Top Four.

This means that the team has never gone below that mark for over 16 years. That is an incredible achievement especially since he has been managing a young team.

He also has a knack of implementing shrewd tactics to keep the production of the team intact even after replacing a key player.


Image: Arsene Wenger
Photographs: Reuters

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3. Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has been the manager for Manchester United for plenty of years (26 years) and in these years he has developed a very keen understanding of the entire team, which is probably why he has led the team to great heights.

One should not forget that the Manchester United team has a few very great players, some of them with highly contrasting personalities.

Keeping them together and making them work as one, united team is quite a difficult task, and Ferguson has been able to achieve that year after year.


Image: Sir Alex Ferguson with David Beckham
Photographs: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

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4. Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola is famous for his superb achievements in Catalonia.

He has always been known for doing things his way and doing them spectacularly.

Under his management, Barcelona clinched the Champions League title not once but twice.


Image: Pep Guardiola with David Villa
Photographs: Reuters

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5. Carlo Ancelotti

Ancelotti is considered as one of Europe's best managers ever.

He has an excellent time with Milan between 2003 and 2007 during which the team won Europe's Premier League twice.

His success with Chelsea is also significant. Besides that, he won probably the hottest managerial position in the football world -- the manager of Real Madrid.

That accomplishment speaks volumes about this successful manager.

Learn a lesson or two from each of these managers and you'll definitely be a better entrepreneurial manager than you ever were.


Image: Carlo Ancelotti with Ronaldo
Photographs: Reuters

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