OK – this is a football themed blog. I do try and have my ideas from many sources, and those of you who follow me on Twitter, reading the 08:15 quotes entitled What I Learnt yesterday (#WILY) will know I pull ideas in from many and varied sources. I think stories and metaphors are very transferrable – and Mr Klopp, Liverpool FC’s new and charismatic manager, is a veritable source of inspiration for me. Also, as a Liverpool fan, I am excited at what he might help the club achieve.
He does feel more manager, day to day, than leader. Maybe we just don’t see the long term visioning, the thinking the unthinkable, the 5 year aims and plans. We see the instant, live reactions of a passionate and thoughtful man.
I think his most impressive traits are very worthwhile trying to emulate. Here’s my take on his style:
- Disarmingly honest. Personified in Press Conferences. The sports reporters feel notoriously extreme in their views, and rather biased. Liverpool beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge early in his time as the new manager. “Are you going to win the league then?” His reply? “Are you crazy? I hope I didn’t understand the question. I have been here 3 weeks. You think after 1 win against Chelsea we can win the league?”. Lesson? Beware of optimistic expectations that are unrealistic. It is best to nip these in the bud straight away.
- Simple, clear thinking. (See the photo and caption above). That is not rocket science, at all. But it transfers so well to any organisational situation. If you are being successful, it is far easier to have a lot of lee-way and support for your most outlandish ideas. If you are in turnaround, no one will release the budgets to you. Sadly, that’s when you need more support. Moral – ask big when you are riding the success wave!
- He works on the team performance through motivating and supporting individuals. He knows when someone has done something above and beyond. He makes a bee-line for that individual at the end of a match, or even at half time. And shows his delight by chatting, slapping on the back and cuddling them! And guess what? They perform better next time they play. And the other players? they try harder so the boss notices. Is this transferrable to your situation? If you say no, then leave the room this instant!
- He is not averse to telling people off. One of the Liverpool players – a star of two seasons ago – Daniel Sturridge, has been injured for most of the season. “He must learn what a real injury is, and play though the pain sometimes”. Yes, this really got up the superstars nose. But guess what? He is back now, and wants to prove his worth to the manager. The rumour is, he also told the player he would be quite happy if he left the club. That could go either way, but it worked. Moral? Don’t let poor performance become tolerated. Your whole team will go backwards otherwise, and everyone will stop pulling their weight.
There is plenty more, and plenty to come, I feel. I have found some of his quotes very thought provoking and a bit different. They have certainly helped me come up with some memorable What I Learnt Yesterday tips! Search for me on Twitter @canmencook, then look for the #WILY. Every day is a school day – if you look around you and open your eyes and ears to taking lessons on board.