In the last decade many managerial styles have been invented and tested in the business environment where some have proven to be very effective and some not as much. However, any current/future business owner will know the importance of a manager’s leadership style as he/she determines how the company will be run, the organization’s culture as well as the employees’ motivation and attitude towards their job.
So, if there are more management styles out there than can be remembered, which style is the most effective? This question is really difficult to answer, however, emphasis should be more placed on what makes a good manager. There are also many answers that can be given in response to this question, however, according to the article “What Great Managers Do”, written by Marcus Buckingham, the best characteristic which makes a manager good at his/her job is to be able to find the unique talents/strengths of their employees and capitalize on it.
Managers are often able to identify the strengths of their employees, however, are not able to provide the right environment for them to use their talents to their max. What makes managers good is if they are able to provide the environment for their employees so that they can use their talents to the best of their potential. Within this article, written by Buckingham, a good comparison was made between managers who either play chess or checkers. If a manager plays chess, he/she understands that there are different pieces within the set that fulfill different functions and have unique skills that other pieces are not able to copy or do. Opposite to chess would be checkers. In this game, all the pieces are the exact same and fulfill the same roles leaving no space for special manoeuvres or talents being used from a variety of pieces.
To put this into a footballing context, one would simply think that a manager would be able to spot small unique skills in the players of the squad and would be able to capitalize on that. In addition, a leader would also need to understand that a player’s motivation and attitude is directly related to the club’s culture and the manager’s managing style. Therefore, for a manager to play chess with their players and not checkers each player’s uniqueness needs to be seen and put into practice.
The football manager who was best known for getting the best of his signings and provide the needed environment for them to thrive in was Sir Alex Ferguson. According to bbc.com and independent.co.uk, he won 13 Premier league titles, 5 FA Cups, 10 Community Shield titles, 4 League Cups, 2 Champions League Titles, 1 World Club Cup, Super Cup and Cup Winners Cup. He coached a total of 808 games of which he won 527, drew 167 and lost 114 giving him a win rate of 65 %.
What made Sir Alex Ferguson so good?
Many people argue that he was one of the few coaches at that time who was able to purchase players and slot them easily into the squad where they were then able to shine and perform well. The video will show case how Ferguson had to rebuild and entire new squad after many of the players from his first squad had gotten too old and were no longer valuable for Manchester United in the long run. He made many transfers which brought in young talent, such as Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, who after a few years of playing at the club were becoming top goal scorers in the Premier League and were winning titles yearly.
Club success is also dependent on factors like finance, however, the success will not last for long as can be seen with Barcelona for example. In the last, 2 years, Barcelona has made several big transfers, however, has not been a dominant force in any of the competitions they have played in whether it is the Champions League or the La Liga. Barcelona is one of the biggest revenue building football teams with which they are able to purchase world class players, however, they have not been able to become a dominant force in any of the competitions.
We have seen clubs, with less financial support, who are able to put on strong performances throughout entire seasons showing that money does not always lead to good performances. Wolverhampton for the last two seasons in the Premier League is a perfect example of a club who was promoted from the second division and made a statement through their strong performances, especially against the big 5.
As mentioned earlier, there are several factors that can make a manager good, however, as research shows, the main factor is whether and employer is able to recognize the strengths of his/her workers and whether the right environment can be created for them to thrive and do their best.