What makes a Good Manager Great?


As perhaps the greatest manager of all time makes his final bow, it would seem fitting to consider what ingredients produce an excelling coach.

It is certainly interesting to observe that the majority of quality managers were not former players of any great standing; take Ferguson himself, Mourinho or Wenger. It highlights that the ability to understand the game from the sidelines is different from being in the heat of the battle. Logical thought and consideration are common characteristics of potentially great managers.

The ability to show courage under pressure and adapt is key to long term success within the game and the building of strong bonds with senior players. The dressing room can a dangerous tool so ensuring the support of important characters will lead to unity and success. Do not isolate the players and develop a siege mentality.

The top managers also understand how to communicate with the media. Do not allow them to apply pressure after a few bad results and keep channels professionally smooth. A strong relationship with journalists will lad to a solid relationship with your own board.

Commanding respect is essential for all top coaches. It does not mean instilling fear, but the understanding of what is expected. Former Celtic and Scotland manager, Jock Stein is a prime example of this.

Surround yourself with good people; coaches, scouts and medical staff because no manager can do everything on their own. The ability to show faith in an assistant manager removes the burden and spreads the workload. Management is an extremely stressful occupation so involving your second in command can lower your blood pressure.

Above all, most managers will point to occasions where luck played an important role in their success. Sir Alex could have been out a job within 12 months had things panned differently…


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