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Melanie Wombwell

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Is your management style premier league? part 4


Ten premiership managers, ten different management styles. How would they perform running a UK business in today's current climate? Melanie Wombwell concludes her series.


From looking at the football management style analysis as well as the survey results, some conclusions can be drawn:


Top three Premier League managers (if they were to run a successful UK business in today’s current economic climate)

  1. Harry Redknapp (Co-achievement) – Out of all those surveyed, most said that Harry Redknapp is the manager they would want to work for (28%) and would do the best job (23%) in running a UK business in today's current climate. Since being in charge of Tottenham, Redknapp has transformed the team into serious contenders for the Premier League title (at the time of writing they were sitting in 5th place in the Premier League table). His people skills are second-to-none, and he gets the best out of his team, by playing players in their favourite positions, making full use of their abilities. With such a likable leadership style Redknapp's 'co-achievement' style would work the best when running a UK business in today's current economic climate. This is underlined by the fact that over a quarter of HR and business professionals would prefer to work for him than any other Premier League manager.
  2. Ian Holloway (Relationship) – Ian Holloway received the second highest amount of votes, in terms of Premiership managers who people would want to work for (23% saying this). This season Ian Holloway, so far, has proved everybody wrong. Blackpool are having a great season (at the time of writing sitting in 12th place in the Premier League table) and there’s no doubt that Holloway's 'relationship' management style is the key behind this. Blackpool hasn't got the best team in the Premier League, but Holloway has the best relationship with his players. They love what they are doing, they love working under Holloway and because of this, they are proving to be a tough team to beat. In the commercial world Holloway would convert an average looking business into a business that would become successful and respected. Plus, with 15% of those surveyed believing he would do the best job of running a UK business, his managerial style is one only to be admired.
  3. Arsene Wenger (Cognitive) – 18% of those surveyed said they would like to work for Arsene Wenger and 19% believed he would be the best manager to run a UK business. Wenger's 'cognitive' style is valued highly in the football world and if transferred to the business world, would be as successful. To guide a business and its employees out of recession and into growth, a calculated approach is needed, along with long-term thinking. Wenger has an eye for young talent and can spot a rising star. The UK business scene relies on talented young professionals and Wenger's abilities in this area, are second-to-none. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why they are such consistant high-flyers in the Premier League and have won a whole host of trophies and accolades over the years.


So, is your management style Premier League?

Out of all those surveyed, over a third (34%) stated that their management style is a 'relationship' management style, similar to that of Ian Holloway's. This makes for positive reading, as the 'relationship' method is one that would prove successful in leading a team of business professionals out of recession and into high growth, a statement which 15% also agreed to, when they suggested Ian Holloway would be the best football manager to run a UK business in today's current economic climate. However it all depends on the character of the manager.
Interestingly, 25% said that their management style was 'collaborative', a similar style adopted by Roy Hodgson. Yet only 5% thought Roy Hodgson would be the best manager of a UK business.  For Hodgson, his management style hasn't worked for him at Liverpool, after being dismissed with just half a season in charge. And in the business sense, this style could also prove unsuccessful; it relies on having a good team of people around you. If you haven't got this, or if your team aren’t contributing, then it can fall apart.
"People make the world go round. Business is about people; be it running a football club, an accountancy firm, or a insurance company."

19% of those surveyed, said that their management style is a 'delegator' style, similar to that of Mick McCarthy. However just 2% thought that Mick McCarthy would do the best job out of the premiership managers listed of running a UK business. At present (correct at the time of writing) Wolverhampton are sitting in the relegation zone, and their chances of survival aren’t looking good. Although the 'delegator' management style can work well at times, again like the 'collaborative' management style, it depends on a good team of people. If you aren't delegating to strong people, or you're delegating to people who don't react favourably to that method, then you are not going to get the results you want. It seems that this management style isn't Premier League.

Why does this all matter?


Delivering results

People who manage well and who are well managed help unlock ideas, motivate others and therefore drive businesses forward. Like the football world, the business world is fraught with turmoil and change. It takes good leadership and a strong managerial style to overcome these challenges.


Creating harmony

Good management works at its best when there's a fit between the management style of the MDs/CEOs and the teams they lead. However of those surveyed, most (23%) said that their MD or CEO's management style was like that of Mick McCarthy's, a 'delegator'. Yet this style is not working for the Wolverhampton players and is a style that just 1% of those surveyed like to work under.
Most of the business professionals surveyed wanted to work with the 'Harry Redknapp' and 'Ian Holloway' types, and most likened their own management styles to Ian Holloway's, yet their own current managers are 'delegators' - a style they don't favour and perhaps something that is ultimately hindering their own career growth, and the growth of the businesses they work for?

Saving money

During tough times companies have to motivate their teams, whilst keeping salaries in check. Good management is a way to do this. When asked what motivates employees in their organisation, surprisingly money or bonuses were not top of the list. Instead it was inspirational leadership (36%) and reputation of the company (34%). So, good management can save companies a fortune in salaries and bonuses.

People make the world go round. Business is about people; be it running a football club, an accountancy firm, or a insurance company. Motivation and getting the best out of people is key to running a successful business and to do that, you need not only a good management style, but the right management style.

That's why it matters.
To read part 3, click here

Melanie Wombwell is managing director of Results International. Results International works with companies and individuals to help them unlock their potential, enabling them to boost their performance in the workplace. This is done in a number of ways, be it through executive coaching, working with the top team, or delivering organisation-wide culture change programmes that build a passion for leadership, management and team success. Results International have worked with many well-known companies and organisations including the Home Office, Nationwide, Phones4u and Vodafone


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