What’s the point of a manager?

I guess most of us keep a to-do list. Might be on your phone, might be on your PDA, might be on a piece of scrap paper. So what was on Fabio’s to-do list last week?

1. Win World Cup
2. Er…
3. That’s it

There might have been a few incidentals along the way – ‘tell defenders that sneaky Germans will try to run past them,’ ‘improve turning speed of Gareth Barry to at least equal that of an ocean liner’ – but his basic aim was clear. Win the big one. How was he going to do that? By getting the best out of his players.

The parallels with business are all too easy to see. Whatever your objectives, you’re going to need help. And if you have people working for you, then you have to get the very best from them. I’m a bit evangelical on this: yes, you need to get the best out of them so your business benefits. But if you’re employing someone, then haven’t you got some sort of moral duty to help them achieve their potential?

Back to football (for the last time, I promise). No, I’m not saying Fabio has a moral duty to make sure Wazza wins the Golden Boot – but can anyone point to an England player that’s reached anything like their potential over the past ten weeks?

I’ll come back to this question of ‘how do we achieve our potential’ over the weeks and months ahead. It’s absolutely central to what I do. Next week though, it’s the fifteen hour meeting…


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