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Leadership Development 1 – 0 Real Madrid


I wonder how much access the Real Madrid board give their employees to leadership and development opportunities? The reason I ask is because at the weekend their prolific leader, Jose Mourinho, suffered his first home defeat as a football manager for over nine years – a record that spanned across three countries and 150 games of football.

This got me thinking, while great leaders in the world of sport, business or politics, have remarkable runs of fortune and sometimes a bit of luck, it will often come to an end at some point. 

The question at this point is: How will this leader cope with the setback? And even more important, how will the leader’s reaction impact on the rest of the workforce, or players in this case.

Whether you love them or hate them, prolific leaders have records that speak for themselves, and more often than not these are men or women who have incredible self-belief and desire to succeed. Usually, a good measure of personal success is thrown in as well.

So, what happens when pride is dented? Developing leaders so that they can switch their mindset and handle all that the world of business, or sport (in this case), throws at them is vital, and it is the forward-thinking organisations who have prepared their top-end employees for each eventuality.

It will be interesting to see how Mourinho copes with this set back – not because it will have any bearing on the season, and not because his team performed particularly poorly at the weekend, but more because his personal pride may have been hurt.

Team leaders have an enormous amount of responsibility that comes with their role, and while it is true that many leaders have personal goals and objectives, they must consider how they react to personal failures in terms of the overall future performances of their team. 
No doubt a few Spurs fans will be hoping for a leadership collapse just in time for Tuesday evening…

James Pentreath
Leadership Development Programme
Six ways to spot an underperfoming team

3 Responses

  1. Mourinho’s Answer…

    A 4-0 spanking of Tottenham last night seems to be reasonably indicative…?

  2. Turning a team around – external forces.

    Adding to Phil’s comment and building on James’ lessons from football:

    (Forgive the lack of names – I but don’t follow any of the leagues or championships)

    I heard Ttham’s manager this morning on radio 4 blaming the failure of the team on lack of money – how, oh how can they compete with RM if they don’t have the money to buy first class players like Ronaldo? That must have gone down well with the team!

    Followed by much more useful comments from the ex-captain who actually tried to identify what had happenned (first goal came in really early on in the match which knocked-off confidence etc) and how the team’s strategy had contributed to the final score.

    So, in answer to how leaders can cope with setbacks, in this case: get over it by blaming something outside your control!



  3. True colours of a leader…

    Absolutely, couldn’t agree more. I suppose you get to see the true colours of a leader when the chips are down, and looking for excuses in every corner except the one he or she is standing in is a pretty clear sign. Thanks for the comments, I think there are so many lessons for leaders to learn from things under the public glare, like football. How will T’Ham play on Wednesday night? How will Redknapp motivate the team that has been kicked by a better team, a better leader, and their own leader!?

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