Sport for All

Start-up professional service firms often reflect the corporate background of their founders: arrogant, complacent and resistant to change. A different approach is needed when working with SME owners and individuals. Understanding their business and the sector they operate in-and their concerns- is crucial.

The client-not you- will often (but not always) have the answers. 

Pep may be right at times to play with a false nine or no centre forward at all! But sometimes you may need to tell him to play another holding midfielder or Aguero upfront: especially in Champions League finals! The structure and organisation of Tuchel’s Chelsea won that day but next time it might well be different and Pep is a madcap genius re-inventing total football all over again!  One thing is clear: one size does not fit all. 

Some interesting analogies from the sporting world can exemplify the perils of the old fashioned approach and the benefits of a more enlightened thinking.  

Do you prefer the underdog or the overwhelming favourite? I loved it when Wigan beat Manchester City in the 2013 Cup Final (for more reason than one being a Red!). Except for one night when we lost on penalties to Villarreal, JCLM embrace the underdog spirit: after all, our Crusade is to help small businesses and individuals. 

Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho……. 

Pochettino focused on working with his players and making them better; developing a strong youth policy (Harry Kane and Dele Ali among others) and a playing style required to achieve success in modern football against difficult opponents on a shoestring. In 5 years Spurs are in the Champions League Final and playing attractive football in the best stadium in the country. Why? He sold a vision to his players which worked: he knew he needed them on-board and he sold it to them with skill and style and passion. Mourinho disrupted the equilibrium. His antiquated methods and intransigent “I know best” mentality excluded and alienated the players who refused to buy in. Result: Failure. This is the antithesis of JCLM: we work with you-our clients- and we listen to you. 

Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds is doing the same thing on a smaller scale presently: let’s see where they are in 5 years’ time. Bielsa’s journey at Leeds is actually quite similar to the one I wish JCLM to undertake. Selling a long term vision to clients and business partners/funders based on passion, shared values and understanding the creativity and vision required to achieve results against tough opponents.

What about Virat Kohli in cricket? Lesson to be learned? You can still embrace modern developments (such as IPL money) whilst retaining respect for the old form of the game (Test Cricket). Kohli still plays both formats of the game unlike some of his brethren who no longer play test cricket: a deep respect for the traditions and etiquette of law does not mean that you should be afraid of challenging its establishments from time to time and looking modernity squarely in the eye.
Jurgen Klopp. A very hard one for a Manchester United fan to concede. However, Klopp’s passion for his job and intensity and unwavering support for his players has led Liverpool to achieve great things. Lesson: passion is contagious and players will “run through brick walls” if their manager is behind them. JCLM is dedicated to helping all who support it where it can and would expect a similar commitment in return.

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