How To Avoid Becoming David Moyes At Work

This post has been seen 14371 times.

So unless you have been living under a rock or perhaps you hate soccer football so much that you close your ears every time you hear the words GOOALLLL … then you would have probably heard the phrase “The Chosen One” in reference to David Moyes the now ex-Manchester United coach who got fired after just 10 months on the job.

What’s more troubling is the fact that he was handpicked by arguably (from a Liverpool fan’s perspective) the greatest Manager in English Premier League History Bill Shankly Alex Ferguson. Who selected David Moyes specifically to continue his Manchester United legacy of greatness. Who would object to such a recommendation coming from such a prominent figure? Nobody. That’s why Moyes was signed to a staggering £36m six-year deal!

But from tales of arguments on the training ground with players, to fans turning against the new coach and a string of abysmal record breaking defeats … Moyes was fired after less than a year on the job. A firing that occurred against the back drop of a banner draped in the Manchester United stadium that read THE CHOSEN ONE.

Perhaps the plan was for the banner to hang for 6 years but it barely lasted 10 months. In fact the banner was one of many things that went wrong in the whole David Moyes saga and is actually #1 in my list of The 4 Ways To Avoid Becoming A David Moyes At Work…

#1 Do Not Hang A Banner In Your Office Declaring Yourself The Chosen One And Don’t Let Anyone Hang It For You Either

A saying that I love goes

“Understand what is expected of you and exceed those expectations.”

I add my own spin to it and say

“Understand what is expected of you and exceed those expectations except if the expectation is too high in which case you should lower the expectation as much as possible.”

And having a banner that reads the chosen one definitely does not help lower expectations. Instantly fans, investors, players, owners are expecting the chosen one to continue in the way of the super one (Alex Ferguson). It does not matter if the chosen one has not done anything meaningful yet, or won any titles, he is just somehow called the chosen one, raising expectations.

The moment that banner went up, David Moyes should have held a press conference or meeting and told them to take it down. And if that did not work, he should have snuck into Old Trafford at night and torn the banner down and burnt it. And then after the ashes have been safely discarded on all 4 corners of Manchester he should have held a press conference and told people…this job might take sometime, be patient with me, things might be tough but we will push through.

But nothing, it was just this high high and unrealistic expectation from everybody and soon the axe came down.

At work it is easy to call yourself the chosen one, to talk about what illustrious school you came from, and how you are the best at this and that, to have certificates dripped around your desk. But when you have not delivered anything at work, that is dangerous. And you are setting up yourself for failure.

Lower your expectations, tell people that you would work your hardest and do your best, but that you will need time to get shit done.

That’s a solid company secret that can keep you from getting David Moyed and having your chosen one banner torn down. Lower expectations.

#2 Not All Promotions Go To Heaven Some Actually Lead To Hell

You get called up to manage a team that has had the same coach for over 25 years and has achieved so much success over the years, he has an aging team, the expectations for success are high, the club culture and expectations are completely different from what you are used to. But then they offer you mad money and the chance to be known as one of very few Manchester United coaches. And you accept it?

Ah your wahala don start! Because not all promotions lead to heaven, there are sometimes that it is okay to turn down those big offers. There is a reason why several coaches will turn down the prospect of a Chelsea job no matter the money paid. And it is because of their rich history of breaking long term contracts and firing coaches.

In the case of United the job was a tough job because the squad was aging, people were already used to the Fergie style and to make matters worse no rael money was set out to recruit new players.

For United the perfect hire should have been someone from within the club, someone used to the United system. The planning should have happened years ago but it didn’t. It was like Alex Ferguson woke up one day and said I am retiring and I think David Moyes should replace me THE END. And because of the luster of the promotion, a lot of issues were disguised.

So when you get a promotion at work, don’t get all caught up in the cash or the money alone, figure out what exactly you will be doing, who you will be replacing the history of that department before you sign the dotted line. Because your promotion might just turn out to be a 10 month human sacrifice to the gods of your company so that another person can come in and clean up your mess and look like a hero.

PS: The best time to take a United job is now, expectations are now realistic and who ever the next coach is (even David Moyes brother) will have a way better chance of success.

#3 At The End Of The Day and Also At The Beginning … Cash Rules

The firing of David Moyes in April of 2014 was very odd. Everyone knew it was going to happen probably before he even knew about it. But reports say that by February of 2014 the decision to fire David Moyes had already been made. So why didn’t the announcement happen till April? I will tell you why.

David Moyes last game was at Everton which ironically was his former club. In that game Manchester United lost 2-0. It was the first time in 44 years that Everton had done the double over United (slang for saying they had beaten Manchester United twice that season) but that was not why he got fired, the media reported that that Everton defeat was the worst performance that they had ever seen for a Manchester United team (yeah right) but that still was not why he was fired.

Moyes was fired because the loss against Everton meant that Manchester United were mathematically out of contention for the Champions League. But what does this have to do with the price of one HEALTH football? According to http://www.standard.co.uk/

David Moyes was today counting the cost of failure at Manchester United after his payoff was capped at less than £5 million out of his £30 million deal.

He lost out on far more generous compensation through an “ ejector seat” clause in his six-year contract limiting his money to 12 months’ salary if the club failed to qualify for the Champions League.

In simple English … United did not fire Moyes until after the Everton game because that was when it became mathematically impossible for them to qualify for the Champions League. At the end of the day it was all about money.

The reason you are at your job today is not because you know somebody … okay okay there are people that are connected like that, but for us average people that have jobs without connection …. Understand this, the only reason you are at that company is because of the value you bring to the company. The moment that value drops where your presence becomes a financial loss … your ass is out.

That’s why it is important to understand your value at work, understand what you bring to the table, compare your input to others, become invaluable. Because at the end of the day despite the yearly team building, the free lunches, the perks and the other nice stuff …cash rules and will always rule.

#4 Fake It Until You Orgasm or Make It

When David Moyes first got hired, he kept talking about how excited he was to be chosen by Manchester United to be their new boss, he talked about how lucky he felt.

It seemed to the world and to the press that he (David Moyes) was shocked that he actually got selected to be coach. “Like wow my resume ain’t that solid but look they chose me!” And soon people started believing that maybe just maybe this man was not ready for such a big job …

I have worked for Fortune 500 companies for 10+ years of my life and one thing I can tell you is that it is like a big soap opera, more like Hollywood. The good actors get the good stuff the oscar awards the sweet gigs while the average actors get their names on the bottom of the credits in some obscure theater.

Back to work … you get a raise and you jump up and down like they just told you that you are going to heaven, the manager sees that and says gosh she/he is content.

But others (the actors) get the same raise or even more, inside they are jumping up and down but on the outside, poker face, Oscar winning award poker face, unimpressed face. The Manager is confused, do they want more he thinks. Yes they reply without even hearing the question. And the next week, or month or year they get a huge raise, crazy raise with a big car, maybe a Ferrari but again they look unimpressed… the acting continues.

That’s the secret. Don’t lose yourself at work and make them believe that you are so excited to be here, that you cannot believe they are paying you so much money, that if they fire you you will be devastated. Because if you do that they will prey on that ish and soon you will become David Moyed out of work.

Simply act as if you deserve to be there, even though you have your doubts on the inside hide it. Act like a manager and you might be surprised they might actually believe it.

Conclusion

All in all did David Moyes deserve to get fired? The answer is an emphatic YES. His string of embarrassing results were too great to be ignored. But I don’t think he ever had a chance, because the expectations were unrealistic and the tools to salvage the situation were unavailable. So what ended up happening was that a good manager ended up looking like a hopeless AND terrible manager.

But that is life on the job, it’s not nice, it does not cuddle people, it’s harsh and we have to battle it daily, but we can be smart about that battle. And set up things and systems to ensure our success before signing the dotted line so that we don’t end up like David Moyes … good manager gone bad.

394067

twitterWritten By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
Follow him on Twitter
Stalk him on Instagram
Read his crazy titled books on konga or okadabooks
Feed his children at…no wait he has no kids…but he has a BB 790D2741

Ofili

Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
Follow him on Twitter
Stalk him on Instagram
Read his crazy titled books on konga or okadabooks
Feed his children at…no wait he has no kids…. 

You might also like:

Comments

comments

Tagged

28 comments on “How To Avoid Becoming David Moyes At Work

  1. Damola on said:

    Nice write-up but it seems you forgot the obvious, he refused to heed advice and did not grow into his role

      • Damola on said:

        Advice from those that were there before him, that explains why he sacked the existing backroom staff. He still thought he was managing a mid-table team and could not come to terms with the fact that he was chosen to lead the team to the top.

  2. selecting promotions to accept would mean passing on major opportunities, nd that is like a death sentence in an economy like Nigeria’s. Maybe he wasnt just lucky afterall.

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      Dave there are some promotions that don’t help your career they make it worse. All I am saying/advising is to avoid those promotions. If the promotions make you better off then by all means whether you are in Nigeria or Afghanistan jump on it.

    • He did say that??? For real? I can’t even believe it. But if its true then it further goes to buttress Ofili’s point that the man did not believe his luck over the appointment.

    • Idak on said:

      The City comment was not even the worst. How about saying we that Sunderland will be tough and we will give them a fight. Guess what? At Old Trafford.
      For me, buying Fellaini was a sackable offence,on its own.

  3. Oluwafisayomi on said:

    .Reminds me of hw I became a David moyes at my job nd early this year when an under qualified boss bullied me endlessly nd I almost lost my mind cos I tot I was privileged to hv it.But when I couldn’t take it anymore and did a reality check on myself that I was hired cos I was qualified and if I lost the job I’d get another,I realised that he had no power to fire me like he’d been threatening.And our overall boss said he can never nd would never fire me,not just cos he had no power to but also cos I was the best teacher he had in all ramifications ,nd I guess d sweetest part was later finding out I had a better degree than d so called boss who wanted to kick me out.Now I put in my utmost best nd accept wat I’m given with pride nd humility knowing I deserve it.Thanks for always bringing the most irrelevant situations to affect our lives in positive ways Mr Ofili.

  4. Brilliant piece @ofili, one thing screams at me in this whole brouhaha, Sir Alex wouldn’t want to be forgotten easily. What better way to achieve this than choosing someone that would underperform. His shoe was obviously too big for Moyes to fill.

  5. You don’t have to come in that way@Obafemi. Sometimes we could just ignore that level of #possible# thought!!

  6. Pingback: Who Will Be the Next Linda Ikeji - The Herald - The Herald

  7. praise fowowe on said:

    He got rid of a 25year experience backroom staff that he could have retained out of insecurity and that was his greatest undoing
    Great write up

  8. Some great analogies although I’ve never bought into the unrealistic expectations part because all United fans I know would have been happy with 4th. I’ll probably add: know your limits and avoid surrounding yourself with “yes men”.

  9. Ofili, what an excellent way of drawing parallels between the Moyes’ incident and work/life situations. My perspective is that since Moyes’ announcement as a replacement for AF, I have always been tempted to scream “nepotism”. Both men are Scottish, right? Throughout his 12-year spell at Everton, what were his outstanding achievements? He qualified the club for the prelim stages of the UEFA champions league in 2005. In 2009 he reached the FA cup final and then in 2003, 2005 and 2009 he was named the League Managers Association Manager of the Year. None of these three achievements count to anything as far as winning trophies go. And football is about winning trophies. THE END.

  10. Dipo on said:

    Excellent piece Ofili. It was quite insightful. I particularly liked how you tied the parallels between both subject matters. Like Emeka said, Under promise but over deliver, that always works magic! Its worked for me at my place of work a couple of times..On Moyes, I think he was just a rookie at “Man Management”..he just was clueless about how to get the best out of them! The team largely didn’t change from what SAF used to win the League last season, infact Moyes had MATA as an added advantage..Anyways good piece man

  11. Hmm. How good is success without a good successor?

    When you move on in the corporate world and you are given the chance to choose your successor, be careful. Your story should have ended with a full stop but takes on a comma dependent on the performance of your self appointed successor for its conclusion.

    In future Sir Alex’s legacy will be written as-is but will have to include and have to accommodate the less flattering story of David Moyes.

    Choosing a successor is serious business that can potentially affect the perception of your success.

  12. Pingback: How Not To Become A Jose Mourinho Manager At Work - The Herald - The Herald

  13. Idak on said:

    There are a lot of real life lessons to be gotten from the David Moyes United reign. As we speak and type here, Fergie is proof reading his notes for the course he will be facilitating at the HBS Leadership elective called SIGNS OF A BAD LEADER- THE MOYES REIGN.
    Very decent man that he is and the tale told by Danny Baker warms my heart even more.
    However, I was one of his biggest critics and could not wait to see him kicked out of the door. He just did himself no good in the role.

    1. A leader must be decisive.

    I understand that the Fellaini bid was more of a commercial thing and largely messed up due to the ineptitude of Woodward yet Moyes played a huge part. There was no decisiveness in that bidding process and Fellaini is crap,by the way.

    2. A leader must inspire (or at least attempt to inspire) his troops in the face of doom and gloom.

    Moyes comments pre or post match were often more demoralizing that the pile of poo served up on the pitch. He sounded defeated even before games and failed to transmit any enthusiasm and energy to his players. It was always about trying, giving the opposing team a hard fight and all such talk. His conservative streak meant that he was best suited to fighting as an underdog. Notice how he was most comfortable playing Bayern and suddenly lost his head when handed a lead he least expected?

    3. A vision and a plan is critical for leadership.

    A vision and a plan is critical in leadership. It is often all that keeps the troop going when all is going wrong. A shared vision is very vital. Moyes seemed to have no plan or tactical vision. Players and fans alike did not know what he was trying to achieve on the pitch. 9 months was long enough to transmit such,if there ever was one. When stuff hit the fan as it often did,the players were pulling in different directions as each had his own vision of how to get out of a rut. There was nothing shared to enforce that communal spirit needed to turn a loss into a draw or even a win.

    4. When promoted above your present level,have an ally who is familiar with the new environment.

    It does not have to be a mentor,it could be a colleague. Moyes sacking of the backroom staff looked wrong from day one,no hindsight needed there. He surrounded himself with Yes men who have never been in anything like the new environment and had never experienced the joys of winning at the top (Phil Neville was not good enough) nor experienced the pain of losing at the top. I feel bad sounding like a genius but the day he was appointed I said that his choice of backroom staff will determine the direction of his tenure. I was proven right.
    Some stars we see in the corporate and public space are products of their backroom staff and advisers.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

CommentLuv badge