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José Mourinho: Arrogant Leader, I dont think so!

If you are speaking to a football fan, you will have two types:

You hate José Mourinho or you just Love him. You cannot have a neutral feeling towards him.

I always fell in the second side. Always! Since he managed Chelsea. Even though I was a United fan all the way, his coaching attracted my attention always.

Be it his wit while talking to the press or his opinions about people's opinions on his leadership. What is his personality all about? In three words:

He doesn't bother

But, that does not mean he doesn't care. Huge difference. He cares for things that matter i.e. his team, his players and his methods of helping the team succeed.

Not Arrogance, Focusing on the right emotions

As a cricket fan, his leadership reminds me of Ricky Ponting. Though Punter wasn't very outspoken, he toned down a lot later in his career. But if Punter was a footballer, he would have been just like José.

Just like people talk about Ponting's arrogance, people talk about José's arrogance too. But it does not impact the way he leads his team. Because he knows failure is a part and parcel of the game.

Dealing with Failures

One of my major learnings from José is to prepare for the worst. That means prepare for failure. Facing the failure. His statements post match dont reflect regret because he is prepared for it. He accepts that the team didn't do well, they need some time. Many call it excuse, I feel it is knowing the players situation at that moment. It is supporting his team at the moment of failure.

"I want to know which coach has always had blue sky and never cloudy or a bit dark. Perhaps only a coach who is always at a dominant club in a league. It shows how beautiful my career has been. Does it make me depressed? No. It's a challenge. I work for the club, the players and the supporters." ~ José Mourinho, Feb 2021

Attributing success and failures to the whole TEAM

Another important learning is he attributes both success and failures to the team. Not only the captain or the coach. Like I said earlier, the success is accounted to the team and failure is lambasted to the coach. But he is pretty clear in his vision on holding the team accountable for failures and successes both.

Communication being the biggest TOOL

In a number of interviews he has always mentioned about setting the right role and expectation from the LEADER and every team member is a crucial part of being ONE UNIT. It also helps being on the same page when it comes to goal setting.

Coaching the TEAM to be a TEAM; not how to play the game.

The most important message Ive learnt from him. He says, the players know how the play to their strengths, where they falter is how to play as a unit. That is where the leader is the most valued. How would you unite 11 different heads to perform for a same goal without getting distracted is a key skill that a leader should possess.

The greatest example couple be leading a team like Real Madrid. Managing heavy egos of huge players like Ronaldo, Kaka and Ozil during the 2011-12 period. He also hired a few unknown names and stuck with Benzema though he didnt perform the last season. Not only CR7 became one of the best players, RM went on to stay on top of the La Liga table.


In conclusion, a coach or a leader does not always have to develop technical skills, he/she also needs to focus more on developing the human skills, that many players who are good in techniques, LACK. This is where José exceeds. Just leaving you with Frank Lampard's view on Mourinho:

"He made me believe I could go to the next level. His man-management was second to none and that's why I always say Jose Mourinho was the best manager I worked for."

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