3 Business Tips We Can All Learn From Jose Mourinho: 7 Minute Read
On Saturday the 14th October, Jose Mourinho led his Manchester United players into one of the most high profile matches in world football. Imagine the scenes as his men stepped onto Anfield’s hallowed turf to face Liverpool:
Every football fan at home and in the stadium knew that defeat would not be tolerated by either club. Passion and rivalry had to prevail in this battle – the world wanted to know who would take home the bragging rights?
But what followed was textbook Jose Mourinho… and below are 3 tips that every business owner can all learn from him.
3 Business Tips We Can All Learn From
Jose’s Manchester United team played for a 0-0 draw. Their aim was to avoid defeat, and not allow Liverpool to get 3 points, or the bragging rights, over them.
Football fans around the world were in uproar, Jose showed a huge lack of ambition by choosing to play in such a defensive way, nor did it make for an enjoyable football match.
Fast forward seven days later and the same tactics were applied in another high profile match at Old Trafford, against title contenders Tottenham Hotspur… this time, Manchester United left with all the points as they nicked the match 1-0.
In the grand scheme of things Manchester United took 4 points out of a possible 6 from two of their most difficult matches of the season. Mourinho has forced his rivals to enter their remaining high profile matches desperate for a win, in order to match his team’s tally.
Jose’s job is then made simple: win more matches against lesser teams than his rivals do. It’s a simple concept, but genius in practice.
At it’s core, football isn’t about flashy build up play, amazing goals or even winning every game – it’s about scoring more than you concede and accumulating more points than your rivals across 38 football matches.
Jose Mourinho’s philosophy is to balance risk vs reward, he’s a mastermind at getting the right result, in any particular circumstance – whilst doing the basics of his trade very, very well.
How Can We Apply This Tip
It may seem difficult to apply this to everyday life in our small business. We’re not football clubs and we’re not competing for a premier league title…
But like Jose we as business owners have short term goals and day-to-day pressures that feel really urgent: what we can learn from Jose is to keep the long term business goals at the forefront of our minds and in order to achieve it, we have to do the basics very, very well.
Keeping your business afloat when the going gets tough is a goal we all want to achieve in the long run, and by doing the basics well, that long term result will almost certainly come – so do what you do, but do it brilliantly well.
After the lacklustre performance against Liverpool which left fans angry at spending their hard earned money for a seat in the stadium, Jose Mourinho made the same mistake he has always made throughout his managerial career: he failed to delight his audience in the short term.
Jose banks on bringing a greater, long term joy – so if he slips up, and doesn’t achieve the long term goal – whilst failing to delight his audience – what does he have going for him?
Granted – if you asked any football fan whether they would trade in a win against their fiercest rivals, for becoming the Champions of England – the answer would almost certainly be the latter. They might not be happy with the teams performance short term, but will be jubilant with the glory at the end of the season.
But Jose can’t guarantee that glory until the final match has been played, and so he experiences turbulent relationships with the people who pay his wages: the fans and the owners. This is the worst place to be as a business owner and a football manager.
Short term success isn’t a problem for Jose, look at his plethora of trophies, however retaining his job is. When it comes to staying at a football club, long term, Jose fails miserably.
This analogy will hopefully help – Imagine being told by a friend that in one years time they will pay you £1000 pounds from their pizza shop profit if you invest and support their business. Throughout that year, a pizza shop opens up across the road and is booming, it’s the talk of the town, innovative and makes a really good pizza.
Things aren’t looking great, so you give tips to your friend, but they don’t seem to be listening. Their pizza is still great, they believe that is what matters most, but it’s obvious to you that they’re being outperformed in other areas. They say, be patient – it’ll all work out.
As the months go by, you might start to question whether you’ll see that £1000 pounds and whether you’re wasting your time investing – no matter how much you love your best friend, you begin to wonder whether you should pull the plug and invest in someone else.
That’s what this situation looks like…
Every top team in the premier league pays their manager to get the job done, so if another bigger, better team comes along and looks like they’ll get the job done, whilst doing it in a way that delights their audience – then like Jose, you haven’t got a leg to stand on.
Jose’s doesn’t do enough to delight the people who matter most in the short term and therefore, will eventually lose those people’s trust. As a small business owner, losing your customers trust, and therefore business, is disastrous.
How Can We Apply This Tip
We need to delight our customers, whilst doing the basics very, very well – in order to keep them from going to someone else.
At the end of the day everyone gets paid to get the job done… but what makes you stand out is going above and beyond: finding new ways to delight your customers at every chance.
Perhaps you could leave the workspace clean when you leave, offer a retention reward scheme, or set accountable time frames with your customers that you know you can meet, or even better, beat!
You can do the basics very, very well but if your competition is also getting the job done, and delighting the customers – you’ll have to evolve in order to retain them. Mourinho doesn’t do this and it costs him in the long run.
It seems only right to end on the greatest quality that Jose Mourinho possesses – his ability to lead and love his team. Listen up business owner, this is a big one…
Jose’s relationship with his players is grounded in loyalty, trust and motivation. By instilling belief in his players ability, he first gets them on his side:
Jose is looked up to as a father figure by many, known as ‘Papi’ to players like John Terry and Frank Lampard, his passion and desire to get the best out of those who play for him is one of the many reasons as to why his team perform better than most.
Jose doesn’t just lead his team, he loves his team. He would call his team family – imagine how this would change the way we ran our small businesses…
Secondly, Jose would always take a bullet for his team – respect and loyalty is a two way street. Yes this whole concept makes him vulnerable, but magical things happen when you as a leader, become one of the team and show them regularly how much you value them as people.
Jose’s men all share in the high and the lows of the clubs performance, they all long to achieve common goals that they all care about. They are all individuals, who are motivated to give their all for the collective goal.
It’s the team that counts. Jose’s motto is: If the team succeeds, we all succeed- and we are all part of this team.
How Can We Apply This Tip
Getting a team to believe in a goal and give their all to achieve it can be a hard task as a business owner, but it’s well worth doing.
‘Let’s make X amount of money by the end of the year’ – is an ambiguous goal. Are your employees here to just line your pockets? That doesn’t feel fun, or like family.
The goal above isn’t transparent enough…
Precise goals however, are great! Implications of what happens if everyone reaches those goals are even better!
Transparency along the journey and instilling belief is key – you’ll keep people hungry and enable them to achieve the things you’ve set out to do.
Take the time to not just lead your team, but love them too. How can your workplace be somewhere people love to walk through the doors, where they’ll spend their days working their hearts out for you?
Finding this will depend on who works in your business… getting the right blend will create something that very few businesses have.