Last Sunday footballer Vincent Kompany, the capitain of British club Manchester City, lifted the cup to the club's first Premier League win in 44 years. The victory came only weeks after Kompany enrolled on the Executive MBA at Manchester Business School.
Kompany is already recognised as one of the country’s most intelligent footballers, having turned down moves to big clubs in order to complete his university education. Now, he plans to move his academic career forward by starting the three-year course.
City's win is no small feat for the club. Kompany tweeted on Sunday: “No words can describe this feeling! This team has worked hard, the fans have suffered long time, today we bring the trophy home for you!”.
We're speculating that with Kompany as City's Captain, and on the Manchester EMBA, the club could go on to even greater heights. We asked one of our members Margaret Sherer, who captained the Cranfield MBA women's football team last year, if she felt MBA skills were valuable on the pitch as well as in the workplace.
Margaret said: "In business, your employees want to know that you trust them and that they have the autonomy to get the job done, however they see fit (in the most respectful way). They also need to buy into the strategic vision you as the leader have provided for them. As the leader, you need to trust that the technical training the direct report brings to the table or you have arranged for them is enough for them to excel in their role."
She continued, "This is no different in football. Your team needs to work efficiently together, have trust, and buy in on that week's strategy against their opponents. Is the formation right to beat this team? Does understanding the opponents weakness give your team an advantage and how are you going to exploit that? Has your team trained enough to have the technical skill to beat the team?
"When I was football captain at Cranfield, I could drill the women with all the technical skill so that reactions could be second nature when it came to the pitch. However, on game day, they knew that I trusted them to try as hard as they could, use the training, but then have the autonomy to problem solve in a moment's notice when something in the game changed.”
We can't wait to see how Manchester City will progress under Kompany’s leadership. We also wonder what MBA terms and concepts will be thrown around the locker-room. I bet that Kompany will quickly catch on to using the word "leverage", something we've noticed to be an MBA favourite.
If you’ve been in a football club where you or your captain has used business school strategies, we’re eager to know! Join the discussion by posting in the comments box below!
More stories about students, alumni and programmes at Manchester Business School here