Opinion and Analysis
Management lessons from Mourinho’s winning ways
Posted Monday, May 28 2012 at 20:25
Let’s talk about Jose Mourinho. He is the coach of Real Madrid FC, one of the most successful football clubs in the world today.
In eight seasons of club management, including an eight-month sabbatical in 2007-08, Mourinho has managed to win a total of seven domestic leagues, one UEFA Cup and two Champions League trophies.
He is the only other manager to have won the Champions League with two different teams, Inter-Milan and Porto. He has coached teams like Benfica, Porto, Chelsea, Internazionale and Real Madrid.
Born on January 26, 1963, he has much to teach the non-sporting management fraternity on excellence. Let us examine some of his gems.
1. He is a professional
Mourinho’s mum enrolled him in a Business School but he dropped out on his first day preferring to focus on sport. He chose to attend the Technical University of Lisbon to study Sports Science.
He attended coaching courses held by the English and Scottish Football Associations. His academic background and his professional training helped him to redefine coaching by mixing theory with motivational and psychological techniques.
The point to note here is that Mourinho is qualified and has painstakingly studied to understand his role well. The modern manager should as well know that professionalism is an obligation.
Take your time to read for both your academic as well as professional papers.
2. He has a mentor
Mourinho’s big break came in 1992 when he worked as a translator for a top foreign coach. Sir Bobby Robson was appointed as the new manager of Lisbon club Sporting Club de Portugal and the Englishman required a local coach with a good command of English to work with as his interpreter.
The duo struck a chord and moved to FC Porto in 1993 before switching to Barcelona in 1996 where he learnt Catalan for his new challenge. He agrees that his formative coaching was greatly influenced by Sir Bobby Robson.
Looking at Mournho, you can see he is what he is because he has been shaped by mentors at every critical turn of his managerial career.
Managers need to choose the right mentors to show them the way. Only fools use experience as the best teacher. The wise opt to learn from others.
3. There is no short cut to success