Lessons in Leadership with José Mourinho

Lessons in Leadership with José Mourinho

After another successful final for José Mourinho and Manchester United – we take a look at what has made him so successful!


Jose is a tactician and when it comes to a single elimination game, you can never bet against Jose’s team. He understands his team, the opponents and the situation and has a plan that is influenced by it all. You only have to look at his record in finals 11 out 13 – the 2 defeats came in extra time!

You may think that what you are doing is the correct way and if done as intended then you will always be successful. A good coach can adapt to the situation – whether this is a simple as adapting your counter-attack plan when a team decides to sit back in defense. You have to change to the situation, and the sooner your realize this, the greater the chance for success.


When José came to Chelsea he was very sure of himself but he did one thing behind the scenes that epitomizes his desire to achieve success.  He wrote too all the Chelsea players before he first met them and stated “from here each practice, each game, each minute of your social life must centre on the aim of being a champion”, this alone sets a standard that nothing but the best will ever be enough.

What is your objective? If you don’t know, then you need to figure it out. We live in a world where everyone is keen to to shout about what they are doing – and there is some validity to this process as it should foster accountability. However, I would advise you to write it down and share it with those that are involved in the process. Everyone else will notice your successes when they happen!


Last week José sat in a Press Conference wearing his Manchester United polo shirt – emblazoned with Claudio Ranieri’s initials ‘CR’, in tribute to the recently fired Leicester City manager. Ranieri, who 9 months after leading them to a Premier League Championship was prematurely fired.

Coaches are all working towards the same common goal – the development of players and the game of soccer. Always remember this fact, and help each other to improve as coaches for the sake of the players and the game itself.


José will often take the heat off his players in the run up to an important game by putting himself in the spotlight. This tactic can often be seen as Jose wanting the focus, but in actual fact is a highly effective method of ensuring that the players can just focus on preparing for the game and not worry about any other outside factors.

As a leader of group of people, whether this be the team you coach or the staff you manage. Think of ways to enable them to focus on the important things and not be distracted by ‘THE NOISE’.


A regular of the 16 hour work day, and is meticulous in his preparation. He has been know to hand over dossiers of his teams preparation to lower league teams, following the game where they have just played each other.

You will forever hear that those that prepare, fare better when it comes to crunch time. If you understand your staff, players and organization then you must then start to understand all the threats to them – opponents, other teams, clubs etc You need to know the all the factors that may affect your success so you can plan to tackle them accordingly.

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