one of the best books i’ve read on management is actually about a football (soccer) coach. pep guardiola: the evolution, by martí perarnau discusses a lot of the tactical side of the game, but it’s much more than that.

this book about how you develop your team’s ideology and strategy (“never do what the other guy does just because he’s won the clash. follow your gut.”). it covers topics like how to train your people (“hungarian psychiatrist thomas szasz explains that ‘each conscious act of learning requires the willingness to damage one’s own self-esteem’.”), and what really defines success (“that’s the important thing. if you have to lose some of the time, then at least you should choose the way you do it.”).

it should be no surprise, then, that i’ve had such a difficult time shaking this book from my memory. there is one particular lesson covered, however, which is a lesson i keep seeing repeated in my life:

‘it’s vital the players make their own decisions during training sessions,’ explains guardiola. ‘they have to experience it before they can fully grasp what they’re doing and it’s not enough just to tell them. if you really want to get rid of a defect, you have to first experience the impact it can have.

this may possibly be the most difficult thing for any manager to do: let someone or something fail intentionally so they, or the organization, can experience the impact it can have. from there you can start to build in the right direction.

but build with purpose.