If Sales Leadership Shares Football Manager Brutal Pressure

This week it is not just red blooded sport billys talking about football.

Everyone it seems, has an opinion on the monopolist Thai-owned Leicester City sacking of 5,000-1 title winning boss Claudio Ranieri.

Universally (almost) thought to be a disgrace.

Dilly ding dilly gone.

From Jose Mourinho to Eddie Jones, the world’s best coaches across all sports felt “sick”.

My own team earlier this season displayed similar (for me even worse, more unjustifiable) judgement.

Our opaque Chinese axe inexplicably fell on Gary Rowett.

With great interest I caught up on his first national radio appearance since.

The most telling stretch featured him discussing the ‘brutal’ pressures football managers face. Notably with how few games someone has to make an impression, or be shown the door in short order. That’s just ten matches.

You can translate all of what he said onto Sales Management.

10 games. “It’s crazy, absolutely crazy”. Around a quarter of a season. Do freshly appointed managers nowadays get only One Quarter to produce visible results? If you don’t think so, then be aware. That day is surely coming.

So how do you make things happen?

His fascinating experience suggested you need two types of management;

One is impact management.

How do you go in there and change things quickly?

Which is not necessarily always tactical.

Sometimes it can be the spirit of the team.

Doing something to get the players on-side.

And then you start to look at the real mechanics of the team and what we need to change.

Impact. Mechanics.

Mixed with consistent, simple messaging;

You go for stability. You go for build from the back. You go to be hard to play against. You try to limit spaces. You pick a style of play that suits the players and doesn’t necessarily just suit your philosophy.

You’ve got to get the payers on your side … You need to get them pushing in the right direction and work incredibly hard. We did a few things. We were very, very simple in the message we got to them. We were consistent.

We didn’t change the side for the fist seven games which gave that little bit of continuity. We didn’t change the style of play that much …

I try to value ‘work hard reward’. I don’t talk about results. You just say, ‘If you work hard enough I’ll reward you. I’ll give you a day off, a little bit of extra bonus’. Whatever it is. Just something to really get the payers working towards you.

Alongside ‘Work Hard Reward’.

Terrific advice for sporting performance of excellence. Readily applicable to any freshly in-post salesteam leadership program.

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