Leadership Lessons From The appointment of The `Special One` at Tottenham Hotspur

Leadership Lessons From The appointment of The `Special One` at Tottenham Hotspur

On Wed 20 November 2019, 06:29 Tottenham Hotspurs made an announcement on their website confirming the appointment of Jose Mourinho as Head Coach on a contract that runs until the end of the 2022/23 season. Just a previous the previous day they posted on their website that Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff Jesus Perez, Miguel D’Agostino and Antoni Jimenez have been relieved of their duties. What skills does Jose Mourinho have? What is it that gives will likely make him perform better than Mauricio Pochettino? Why is he do people refer to him as a special one?

In case you did not know, Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed 'Special One', is the former manager of Manchester United Football Club, Chelsea Football Club and Real Madrid and one of the best managers the sport has ever seen. He is cherished by his fans and equally hated by the rest. He has one of the rare abilities to make his feelings known and faced punishment for quite a few of them.Let us look at some of the lessons we can draw from the football manager.


The need to adapt 

Just because you have good record of accomplishment throughout your career does not mean you sure to be successful at every company or club you join. When you believe your own hype, you are destined for failure. Mourinho has been criticised from many pundits for failing to move with the times and employing outdated defensive tactics at United that brought him success at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, while new managers on the scene, like Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, are focusing on a more attacking and pressing style. For him to succeed at Tottenham hotspur as manager, he must be open to adapting his approach and style, rather than simply insisting on his own way. This applies to leadership roles in any company.

Taking responsibility


Mourinho deflects blame and takes credit. However, this is the opposite of what it takes to be a good leader. Castigating individuals and hanging them out to dry will only create contempt and will lead to them refusing to pull in your direction. You win and lose as a team. Employees will respect as a manager if you accept some of the responsibility and admit when you get it wrong.



As a manager, you are responsible for making sure your team thinks in a positive way. Given the poor performance of Tottenham Hotspurs, it is very likely that Jose will confront individuals who have less positive thinking. During his time at United, Mourinho was criticised for making use of negative tactics, resulting in players not enjoying their football. Positivity is infectious, and a positive environment is fundamental to bringing out the best from your team. There is no doubt that for him to be successful at the Tottenham Hotspur he will need to instil positive thinking in the players. If your employees are happy in their work, they will remain loyal and stay with your business for longer.


Nurturing talent

For many years, Manchester United had a reputation for nurturing young talent. Think back to the class of 92, players like David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and the Neville brothers were all a product of the united youth system. Over many years, the club invested time to turn these young people into some of the best players in the world. Mourinho had some of the brightest prospects in Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw at his disposal but they have not progressed under this watch. At Tottenham Hotspur there is also a good number of young talent that needs to be turned into   If we apply this to the world of work, it is important for managers to develop individuals, so they feel as though they are fulfilling their potential.



For Mourinho to be successful at Tottenham Hotspurs he needs to grasp the culture of the club. While he was at Manchester United, he failed to grasp the club’s philosophy of developing home-grown talent and playing stylish attacking football. It is true that when the club has many funds, it can acquire the best talent, but any number of new incoming talent cannot outlast the culture of the culture.


In any business, your culture is what makes your organisation what it is. It is important to establish your working culture and that your people understand its values.

IPC Team
This article was written by IPC a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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