Life is so much more straightforward when you have an understanding boss. If you think about it, there is a ruling existence with these people and the impact they have on your lives can be perilous.
When you were young, it was your parents who kicked you into touch (not literally, of course), but now it’s the person who sits you down and runs through your appraisal. And no matter how good you are at the job, your performances at work may not be enough to win them over; if they don’t take to you, they just don’t take to you.
I’m pretty fortunate that I have a decent boss here at NLP Towers who lets me crack on with what I enjoy doing. There may be the odd disagreement, but I always know where the line is. He’s the boss for a reason, so when he makes a point, I make a point of listening and taking it on board.
I thought about this when I was reading Scott Davies’ excellent column (on page 6) in this week’s issue, because the same principals apply whether you do a paper round for £15 a week or you play alongside Lionel Messi for Barcelona. When the boss asks you to do something, you should bloody well do it! It’s the most important message for young players. If you want to climb the ladder quickly, and if you want to earn the respect of the person who can help you do that, doing as your manager says is the golden ticket.
I don’t think enough youngsters do this. They may think they do, but their self-belief and self-interests often get the better of them, and they believe their methods are the only methods. You can be the best player in the team, but if a gaffer doesn’t rate you as a person then you could be heading for the door. There will probably be a second chance, and even a third, but lessons need to be learnt or the mud will stick.
There is a flip side to this – and you don’t want players to be over-reliant on their manager because they have to work things out for themselves. This is an instinctive game; you may take a chance on the pitch that the manager doesn’t see in the dugout. That’s fine. But you have to buy into the manager’s philosophy, and you have to show the faith you would expect in return.
I was, and still am, a useless footballer but my theory has always been the same in the workplace. When the gaffer pipes up, you pipe down. They are the manager for a reason; they wear the flak so players don’t have to; they make the calls and live and die by them. Fall in line or fall out. It’s really that simple.
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