Today, we publish an article authored by a guest writer Tadala Tembo. Tadala is a colleague of mine in the Vatican Social Football Club in Lilongwe and is a lawyer by profession. Enjoy!
Supporters of Manchester United must be grinning from ear to ear. From a team that was teetering towards a catastrophic fall under Mourinho, they now have a well-oiled machine under the baby faced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. What changed? Read on for lessons that can be gleaned from how the two managers have managed Manchester United and have produced polarised results.
Willingness to work with the human resource found at an organisation
As soon as Mourinho was appointed Manchester United manager, everyone knew that some players would face the chop. Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett, Nick Powell, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay, Adnan Januzaj, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Daley Blind are all on the list of 14 players Mourinho permanently kicked out of Manchester United.
It became apparent that Mourinho wanted a complete overhaul of Manchester United and wanted to fill the training ground with players recruited by him only. Such an approach, whether in sport or at an organisation, is bound to fail.
There is a reason why institutional memory is important. Manchester United fans were complaining that Mourinho’s team was not playing “the United way”. But that is not the only reason.
Players were not assured whether they would be at Old Trafford the next hour. As a result, there was no commitment which led to poor performances and eventually led to Mourinho’s sacking. If you are a manager at a new organisation, you need to sweep the yard, but often times it is the old brooms that can help you because they are familiar with the dark corners. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the other hand has put trust in the players he already has and the transformation is tremendous.
Frustrating the best talent at an organisation
We all hear stories of managers who frustrate the best talent they find at an organisation. Mourinho did it at Old Trafford. He lambasted whichever player’s name was close to his lips. The tongue-lashing was not all there was. He played a proven goalscorer in Rashford on the wings where he was not accustomed to and expected miracles.
He played Pogba in a deep defensive position and still expected good delivery to the strikers. Some managers are also like that. Turning the best monitoring and evaluation officer into an administrative assistant. Turning the finance manager into a human resource officer.
What has Solskjaer done right? He is managing the egos of his best players well. Suddenly, Rashford is scoring and the beast in Pogba has been unleashed. As a manager, release that engineer. He is the best civil engineer, but it does not mean he is the best manufacturing engineer. Don’t just make him sit at a desk and do nothing.
Ignoring young talent
Most managers the world over are now recognising that the young are the future. Young people are forward-looking and innovative. They find solutions to problems that torment societies. Names abound. William Kamkwamba, Bill Gates, Mack Zuckerberg, ad infinitum, really. Mourinho did not want young talent in his team. Of the 14 players that he offloaded, nine were academy graduates. That is in addition to Jesse Lingard, Rashford, Tony Martial, Luke Shaw, Herrera and Pogba whom he was ridiculing day in, day out.
Enter Solskjaer and the lads are suddenly given game time and are performing to their optimum. The result being high class performances which leave Manchester United supporters in orgies of joy. As a manager, put trust in that young employee. He is forward-looking.
The experienced workers are necessary. But they may not necessarily be the best going forward. Whereas the young employee is still willing to learn and capable of being taught new tricks. Some sages said you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
Have a happy day and implement some of these amazing lessons in your normal life and you will surely rise and shine! Good luck!