A few years ago, when Jose Mourinho was still the Special One, he publicly berated Eva Carneiro, the physio at Chelsea, and in response the players downed tools and Mourinho was sacked for poor performances. Of course, Mourinho at Chelsea isn’t the only manager to have players fail to perform only for the team to become a resurgent force after a new manager arrived. In more recent times the same has been seen with Solksjaer at Manchester United. In these situations the pressure inflicted on the manager is immense. Not only do they have to deal with the pressure of winning, but also unhelpful pressure from the press, and the public asking about situations and rumours that have zero benefit to the team and do nothing but distract from the vision and goals.
In the past two years 36 government ministers have quit, the overwhelming majority due to the carnage of Brexit. It’s no wonder that David Cameron cheerfully hummed to himself as he announced he was resigning and walked into the sunset leaving someone else to, well, not so much pick up the pieces, but more like squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube.
That someone else was Theresa May-ourinho. Not only having to contend with her own team pulling her apart and publicly mocking her leadership (or lack thereof), but also an opposition. It wouldn’t be so bad if the opposition had anything to offer, but they don’t. Currently the United Kingdom is being represented in the Champions League by Woking and Barrow. It’s a shambles. In the meantime, even France, who are the Football League version of Grimsby, complete with weekly violence, are still more stable and respected in Europe than the rudderless UK.
With the economy on a knife-edge, no leadership to speak of, an ineffective opposition, and more chance of Joe Biden keeping his hands to himself than any form of useful agreement, the future is pretty bleak for the British government and the people who have to live through it.
The big question is: what next? May leaves, presumably humming to herself while she walks away, maybe even sending a text to Cameron to see if he still has that number for the Panamanian accountant so she can move some funds around before the whole thing falls apart completely. Then what? It’s not like the new manager can come in and re-energize the team. Pogba and De Gea don’t want to play in leagues with the likes of Grimsby and Barrow; they want to play in proper competitions on the global stage. We need a manager who can bring that vision and success.
Right now, as ridiculous as it seems, the only leader saying anything remotely resembling a strong goal-oriented mindset to Make Britain Great Again (and I can’t believe I am saying this), is Boris Johnson. While everyone else is arguing over Brexit and distracted with trying to keep Woking in the Champion’s League, Johnson is looking to build the team that will compete for the long haul. He’s not talking about the competition; he’s focused on the performance. He’s the Guardiola, focused on all the things that make a country strong – education, healthcare, cutting crime etc. He is demonstrating the traits of someone with a vision and performance mindset.
Performance psychology doesn’t just apply to footballers and managers. Performance psychology is a factor in any industry, for teams and individuals, where there is a goal. Without a clear goal, or vision to achieve it, failure is inevitable. When a leader has a clear vision, they can inspire others and keep the focus on the goal, they are far less likely to be put off by distractions, and success becomes the most likely result.
In the United States, President Trump is overseeing record low unemployment across demographics, and black people in the US are seeing a growing movement they are labelling “Blexit” as they leave the Democratic Party in droves. Why? Because a leader has a vision and the vision is bringing results. Instead of fighting against an enemy he labels #fakenews, Trump is getting on with building the team and competing at the highest levels. Whether he acts like a complete tool or not, Trump has created record low unemployment for black people. Trump doesn’t care about Woking or Barrow. He’s Champion’s League and has no problem letting people know it. He took over a team with no direction, oversaw the removal of high-profile under-performers like ex-Speaker Paul Ryan, and he has no time for people who don’t want to compete at the highest level and focus on the vision.
As ridiculous as it seems, Johnson may do the same as Trump and Make Britain Great Again, but he will need to focus on the team, the performance, and the results he is aiming for if he is going to steer the country through the Brexit storm.