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The Importance of Great Management in Sport - and Business


by Sellick Partnership | 18 March 2014

I'm not a great football fan - far from it, in fact! - but my husband and six year old son are extremely passionate football supporters of Manchester United, and I find myself getting 'sucked in' to the game and all the hype that goes with it!

It has recently got me thinking that there is a great deal to be learnt from the game; you don't necessarily have to be a supporter to understand how crucial management, teamwork and great leadership are to a successful team.

I must admit, watching the match last Sunday between Manchester United and Liverpool was painful. The comments flying around our house gave me food for thought and got me thinking about leadership and the management style of an organisation. 

If you're not a supporter yourself, you will have no doubt heard of Manchester United, even if it's just the brand name 'Red Devils' or you might just be familiar with David Beckham. It appears that Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement has been completely underestimated for the reputation of the brand and, since he left last year, the team are spiralling out of control and it's all going down hill.

New manager David Moyes did have a huge job to fill the boots of Sir Alex, however I wonder if he isn't doing himself any justice in his strategic thinking - his management capabilities are being questioned. Is he just making silly mistakes that really shouldn't have happened in the first place, and is this something that can happen in sport as well as in business?

The two are somewhat the same.

The result on Sunday (3 - 0 to Liverpool) demonstrated both signs of leadership and shaky management, both on and off the football field. I could see that the way the players were communicating was displaying a negative knock-on effect in the team; the body language and expressions of David Moyes was there for all to see, and I certainly didn't feel like I was watching what should be one of the greatest teams in history.

I hope Moyes can learn from the mistakes currently being made, that he can get the consistency back into the team before it's too late!

Whatever does happen to the team, there's much to be learnt from this situation about leadership and management. Whether it be in sports or in the workplace, it needs to be fluent and seamless - there should be no divide between managers and colleagues, and it all has to flow like a well oiled machine.

Here at Sellick Partnership, I think we've got it right. Management is consistent and always moving in the right direction, and we all work extremely closely together. There is no divide throughout the business, we have a very flat, transparent management structure, and that's what makes us successful and why we have grown so rapidly and consistently since its inception in 2002. 

I am proud to work with some of the best in the recruitment sector. When an organisation is consistently successful over a period of time, within what can be a constantly changing environment (especially recruitment), what is evident at Sellick Partnership is that the right management and leadership are in place.

If you would like to know more about Sellick Partnership and working for us, go to our Working for Us site or contact me on 0161 8341642 for an initial discussion.