What would you say if you had to explain every decision?
The minute a football coach walks off the field, he’s thrown into a press conference — his major decisions and in-game ideas (good and bad) are challenged repeatedly by an increasingly savvy media. In some cases, the press conferences are broadcast live to the world. Now that’s pressure.
In the case of England manager Gareth Southgate, the job interview process was less about whether he was able to put together a winning gameplan and more about whether he could handle having his ideas fervently scrutinized.
“It was three hours (and a five man panel). It started off with a review of ‘OK, go through the last four games, what have you learned?’ and there was some pretty feisty opinions from the more technical people in the room about some things.
“So that was a good example of saying ‘OK, do Gareth’s powers of analysis stand up to scrutiny?’ — and, as Gareth has said himself, thinking correctly under pressure.
As a people manager inside a company, how would you adjust if your decision making was being scrutinized daily by a waiting media throng? Your hiring and firing would need to be explained, the performance of your team detailed and results against the opposition dissected. Would you make different decisions if you had to explain them? It’s a completely unrealistic scenario, I know, but worthwhile considering when you need to make tough decisions.
What would I say at the press conference?