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If your manager was Mourinho, Klopp or Guardiola

If your manager was Mourinho, Klopp or Guardiola…

What would it be like?

No, don’t imagine you’re a world class footballer and one of them is your coach. Imagine tomorrow you go to work and your CFO or finance manager or financial controller was Mourinho.

What would that be like? And is there anything you could learn about leadership?

Jose Mourinho

Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.

Let’s face it, having Mourinho as your boss would certainly be colourful. Your team would probably be highly successful, but it might not always an easy ride.

When he’s in a good mood, his players love him and many say that he is the best coach they’ve ever had.

But there’s another side to Mourinho, the side that has no problem telling the media that his players were to blame for losing a game. Or even being unhappy with a win because he didn’t like the performance, or too many goals were conceded. His teams can be very defensive, which sometimes means they don’t try to score many goals, preferring to protect a draw or 1-0 advantage.

How well would he do managing a finance department and a team of accountants?

He understands risk versus reward, hence he doesn’t mind ‘substance over style’ or playing for a draw. He thinks about long-term success over short-term gains. In this regard he’d be a good finance manager or CFO.

As a leader, however, his tendency to publicly blame players and even fans would probably not work as well in a corporate setting – imagine telling your clients their businesses weren’t good enough, or your customers that they’re wrong or that your colleagues are lazy! Only Mourinho can get away with this and still be employable.

Jürgen Klopp

You can talk about spirit, or you can live with it. We took the team to a lake in Sweden where there was no electricity. We didn’t eat for five days.

The Liverpool manager and ex-Dortmund coach is known for his strong relationships with his players. He seems like a father figure; he focuses on building a team spirit that instils in all the players the desire to win as a team and to fight for one another. This is a great quality in a business leader, so well done Jürgen and welcome to the world of finance.

But when asked to compare his style of football with that of Arsenal under ex-coach Arsene Wenger, he said Arsenal were like a silent orchestra, but that he preferred heavy metal. In this case, subtlety would probably win out in a corporate context. Managing the finances of a business generally requires a fine style.

Pep Guardiola

If there isn’t a sequence of 15 previous passes, a good transition between attack and defence is impossible. Impossible.

Pep Guardiola is said to be a footballing genius, a revolutionary who has won titles in three different leagues deploying a style of football that is fluid and great to watch. Like Jürgen Klopp, team spirit and mutual respect and understanding between his players is vital. As is working to his tactics, which can seem very complicated.

Pep’s teams don’t seem to play to a particular structure, with players seeming to roam around the pitch freely. But this would undermine the hours of tactical training that Guardiola’s teams undergo to achieve flexibility and fluidity in a game.

In a profession like accountancy, which is rapidly changing and evolving, with new technology and new markets shaping the services accountants can provide, such flexibility, dynamism and adaptability is valuable in a modern finance team or accountancy practice.

And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to work for one of the most successful managers of all time, whose teams play in such a beautiful way?

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