Dealing with the Disruptive / by John Hailes


As we look back on past seasons, with the beauty of hindsight, we can quickly see the leadership triumphs and faux pas committed by managers & captains. With this we also see their resulting impact on the season. This season the Premier League top spot has been passed around more times than Tulisa's Sex Tape. So we are left with the question and thought of, 'could this have been avoided?'

In many ways the premier league managerial position is the ultimate leadership challenge. A job where you can never be a people pleaser; yet one where you need to constantly keep people on onside.

From the board of directors, to the players, to the press, to the fans and to the FA... they could all at some point sway the decision to make you history. You can never afford to lose their support.

This season we have come to realise that the test to leadership is NEVER just how we lead the yes men but infact how we lead the egos & then deal with the disruptive few.

This year at certain times City took the forefront and powered ahead of the rest. Yet on one day, after one mix up & misunderstanding, things began to change. Disruption in the dressing room and chaos was unleashed around Manchester City. Acting firmly and swiftly the manager took a clean swipe and made his feelings known to the World. Making statements which turned out to be empty threats; but threats which had a big impact. Following this event and more miscommunication (or no communication) a team was without its top goal scorer (prev. season) for 5 crucial months.

Whether this leads to their loss of the season and their failure to progress in other competitions will soon be seen.

However in this Saga we can see that a number of leadership faux pas...

1. Communication Malfunction :-  Problems began when Mancini were misunderstood by Tevez. These communication errors continued and resulted in Tevez absconding. Leaders need to be clear &  concise when they communicate. Be aware of not only your language but also your gestures. Mancini never sat Tevez down after his actions and questioned him about his behaviour. He made assumptions & turned things from bad to worse.

2. Acting Irrationally :- Understandably Mancini was embarrassed that his player refused to play. But claiming on live tv to the World that he will never play again for the club is a response that will not convey the right message to the Player & is an action which in many ways was something he couldn't control. Off the back of this threat Tevez saw no reason to stick around and left the country for 5 months. Leaders need to act after receiving council and speaking to the disruptive member...Don't just be reactive but be proactive in finding the way to handle each situation.

3. Pride Hurt & Perspective Lost :- It's true that a leader must be in control and that a leader can't afford to lose the respect of his team. In this situation though Mancini was stung & felt like he needed to use power in order to assert his authority....all because his pride was hurt. As Leaders when our actions are birthed out of our own insecurities & annoyances we begin to lose perspective. Working & doing things for ourselves & not the cause the team fights for. When Mancini's pride was hurt he failed to act in the interests of the team and the cause they were fighting for. At its core it was about him. A leader's role is act in a way that brings the most fruit & success for the team and their cause. A leader's role is to act out of this objective and not out of his own desires.


I may have made some unfair & uninformed observations about the Tevez saga but I am a United fan. By no means were Mancini's actions the time they were even praised....

But with hindsight I can't help but feel like had he dealt with the disruptive differently then City would be smug right about now! :)