The Manager not afraid of taking a tough stand

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“Klopp reveals ‘disrespectful’ Sakho was sent home from Liverpool’s pre-season tour” was the headline that caught my eye this morning on MSN Sport.

The Liverpool Manager has taken action against one of his players who has broken the team rules three times now. When you are in the middle of a pre-season team building session, this might be seen as counter-productive.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s reponse was “I have to build a group here and we’ve got to start new here. I thought it maybe made sense for him to fly home to Liverpool”.

Perhaps more importantly his statement “We have some rules and we have to respect them – if somebody gives me the feeling they are not respecting it I have to react” was more insightful.

Letting everyone in the team know, as the Manager, you will take action if someone isn’t abiding by the rules, gives each one the confidence that you are not afraid to take sometimes difficult decisions for the greater good of the team, and o one is exempt.  However important that individual is (or thinks they are) to the group, anyone who flouts the rules is disrespectful to their colleagues and their Manager.

Asked if the player would be fined, he responded that in his view, this didn’t solve the problem or address the situation:-

“It’s not because they care about money, it’s always ‘yeah in the moment it hurts but after a while not’.

Often we think people are driven by monetary rewards, and perhaps, given the amounts that footballers earn, it would be easy to assume that a fine for bad behaviour would have the desired effect.

Here is a manager who obviously knows what drives his team and it isn’t afraid to instil his expected level of dedication to the team.

“I want them to do the things because they want to do it, that’s all” was his response.

Taking tough decisions, standing up to members of your team who are being disruptive or disrespectful is a challenge for any manager, in any organisation.

Much can be learned from this quietly spoken football manager who shows true elements of leadership and values his whole team, rather than just individual members.

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