You earn your money as a manager when the team are going through a
difficult patch. When performance dips, when morale is rock bottom and
confidence low that’s when your experience and know how is supposed to
make the difference.
Jose Mourinho apparently told his opposite number on the Chelsea
bench that he should not be so quiet and miserable when his team is
losing nor did he need to be so animated on the touch line when they
were winning. Sound advice from an experienced and successful manager
to a gifted but inexperienced colleague. Although there is little
evidence that Jose follows his own words of wisdom. It is of course
just as likely that this was all part of the touch line banter
designed to wined the opposition up.
Encouragement and support are most needed when things aren’t going
your way and the last thing any team needs is to see a despondent and
resigned manager retreating into their shell giving the impression
their is nothing they can do to change the situation.
Managers must always believe they can change the situation because if
they don’t the team won’t. Does this mean that all managers are
optimists? I think most are but the thing is in management you have to
be a good actor and a bit of a con artist so publicly you are
optimistic privately you are realistic. You must give a convincing
performance that you share the organisation’s vision for the future,
that you are committed to the cause and that each individual is
capable of more than they realise. You must be upbeat even though you
know the true financial position, that resources will be stretched and
some personnel changes are inevitable, even that your own position is
nowhere near as secure as you would have everyone believe.
The managers mood is important due to its effect on the team.
Sometimes disappointment, occasionally justifiably angry, momentarily
disheartened, never, never despondent. As Jose said to his team in a
recent the fly on the wall documentary , “ If you think I am not my
usual self it is not because I am in a bad mood with you it is because
my dog died last night”.
Blair Mcpherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk