Arsenal‘s play in the UK has been a thing of phenomenal joy for me as a long-time admirer of the team. And one of the core reasons I have been drawn to their play offs in England lies in the style of leadership of Arsene Wenger.
Since 1997 he joined the team till date, Wenger has showed exemplary leadership that has not only helped Arsenal as a team in the English league, but it has also helped Arsenal as a company to make tremendous gains.
While some football enthusiasts view trophies carried as the only benchmark for marking out effective leadership, I on the other hand view other components alongside it.
Wenger has showed me that football is more than trophies. Football is a serious business that needs a serious approach. Over the years, I have learnt a lot in business from my own personal lessons and from watching him do what he knows best.
Here are 4 business lessons I have gleaned off the life of Arsene Wenger since I started following him.
- 1. Develop a Tight Financial Discipline.
Effective management of resources is a profound way to gauge whether a manager knows his onion. We don’t have to read far to discover Wenger is a disciplined manager.
Lots of my friends I watch international matches with have severely criticized him for been too strict in spending. Wenger shrewdness in spending has not only helped Arsenal stay off unnecessary debts, but it has helped them focus their energies in the right direction.
Arsenal successfully cleared the debt for the construction of Emirate Stadium thanks to Arsene Wenger strict management. Money was spent by him based on the budget that the club could afford at that time.
This philosophy has helped me curtail my expenses to a bit. I used to think it’s better to expand personal spending as income grows. I learnt better. That it’s better to invest 80% of income into viable sources that will create a second income.
A strict financial disciplined life has taught me it’s better to stay without what you need now, in other to invest into what will produce the things you’ll need.
- Always Have a Profit Oriented Consciousness.
Apart from the fact that many people know Wenger as a miser. To me, he’s a profit oriented manager. Why do I say this? It’s because Wenger has, over the years, successfully completed successful deals in as many transfer market.
For example Thierry Henry, Nasri, Ashley Cole, Van Persie and Hector Bellerin are all examples of players that were bought with paltry money. But he ended up selling them at outrageous price tags to the benefit of the business.
Arsene Wenger competitors believe in spending much for success. To list some of them: Morinho, Guardiola, Ancelloti, Pelegrini, and a host of others. But Wenger’s philosophy is to identify promising players and buy them on the cheap.
Everything falls back to management. Some football coach may think that buying an A list player will change the future luck of the club. But that’s far from the truth. If you buy a player and you don’t effectively management them, they’ll lose their performance and may never get them back unless proper management is applied.
I’ve applied this style in business a lot of time. Using this strategy, I have located ways to get the main commodity in my business at a cheaper rate by eliminating the middleman.
Everything boils down to sitting down to think. That’s where your main ideas will come from. To profit in a business, you must first think outside the business and eliminate unnecessary expenditures as much as you can.
- Foresight Skill is Necessary in Business.
It’s funny, but coaches – his main competitors – actually queue up for Wenger to spot unknown players in South America, Europe and Asia in other to make outrageous bids for such players and buy out the players.
I believe the answer you’re looking for is foresight. That’s the ability to see talents, ideas, rare opportunities when others aren’t seeing them. Wenger is arguably the most foresighted football coach in the English league – that’s my view though.
He has not only grown his foresight skill in seeing potential and going for it. He has developed the ability to manage and maintain the result of the foresight.
Most players that Arsenal has signed in the past 15 years have received a lot of mixed reactions. Years back some complained that buying cheap players wasn’t the best way to push the Arsenal brand to the next level. This was advertised everywhere and even the shareholders agreed to it.
But years later the tone of the news has changed. Thierry Henry, Nasri, Van Persie, Fabregas etc., all came out from that formula.
I have continually applied this in business and I’ve seen increase in earning at my end. Foresight entails being the best by purposefully studying the market better than anybody. I have been consciously doing this ever since.
- Articulate Criticism and Never Bows to Pressure.
Wenger is one of the most criticised coaches in the game of football – if not the most criticised. A lot of shareholders, coaches, fans, press etc., aren’t happy at all with his style of football.
We’ve heard it all: Wenger is stingy, he’s a stubborn coach, he doesn’t change his mind when he launches out to get something that we don’t agree with, he doesn’t listen to the fans, etc.
Criticism has become the norm for Wenger. There is no news you’d hear about Wenger that at least three to five of them doesn’t talk about a criticism directed at him.
But this is what I admire about all these chaos: He’s not moved or unperturbed by them at all. He believes in following strategic plans. Not the ones that are filled up with sentiments, but the ones that has been showed over the years to work effectively and produce consistent results.
I totally relate with this strategy. In my business, I have transitioned the business from a one man business to a business that is solely built to follow “specific strategies”.
I’m not talking about structures that are changed constantly as the wind of new ideas pop in. No, far from that, I’m talking about following set down principles that will make money irrespective of whether people like it or not.