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Quiet Leadership By Carlo Ancelotti

Release date: 13th April, 2017
Publisher: Penguin

List Price: £9.99
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Published in paperback last week, Carlo Ancelotti’s Quiet Leadership is one of the very best books on football management ever written.

It is, says the Italian, “a collection of reflections on my time in football and my thoughts and philosophies on what it takes to be a leader in my profession.” After reading it, it’s entirely possible to make a case for scrapping UEFA’s system of awarding badges to coaches capable of organising training sessions and get them to read Ancelotti’s book instead.

Ancelotti’s management style could never been described as tyrannical or demonstrative. Nor is he an advocate of what might be called the ‘drama queen approach’ to managing a football team, whereby everything and everyone else bar the manager is to blame for a defeat or poor performance.

Perhaps it’s no surprise then that European football’s most successful manager, whom Ancelotti emulated when lifting his third Champions League trophy with Real Madrid in 2014, was hewn from similar stone.

Bob Paisley, the Liverpool manager who won three European Cups in four years, was similarly reserved, a guy who simply got on with the job of winning without ranting, raving, or employing ridiculous ‘mind games’. Both men knew when a kick up the backside was required or when a player needed an arm around the shoulder as a form of encouragement; it would be no surprise, therefore, if Carlo Ancelotti went on to beat Bob Paisley’s record of claiming three European Champions titles.

Yet this is not a book directed solely at the football aficionado. Yes, there are anecdotes galore regarding Ancelotti’s dealings with some of the game’s biggest names which reveal how he got more out of them, but it is also about how to employ a particular managerial style, one that mixes inclusiveness with often essential ruthlessness. This aspect makes it worthy of consideration by those intrigued by ‘the business of leadership’, an art at which this all-round decent Italian guy is particularly adept.


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