Ex-Manchester City and England U21 manager Stuart Pearce gives UCFB students valuable leadership advice
Set an example, be unselfish and care about the people you are managing. Those were the qualities England legend Stuart Pearce laid out as vital components for a successful leader on a visit to UCFB Wembley.
With a playing and managerial career spanning the Premier League, World Cup and Olympics, Pearce, affectionately known as Psycho, was at UCFB Wembley, inside the iconic Wembley Stadium, speaking on leadership and the ever changing football industry.
During his talk, Pearce, whose illustrious CV includes Nottingham Forest, Manchester City and managing Team GB at London 2012, also gave advice on how to adapt to the modern day football club and the importance of education in today’s game.
Pearce, who made over 800 appearances for club and country, many of those as captain, said: “I think for anyone that is involved in any form of leadership, if you want to be successful you have to be unselfish and put the group before yourself.”
He added: “You have to make sure your deeds and words tally, and you have to care about the individuals that are working for you or working within the group that you’re trying to lead. You have to set a vision out for those individuals, and a collective as well, and say ‘look, this is what we’re trying to achieve’.”
A two-time League Cup winner with Forest, Pearce highlighted the importance of leaders knowing what’s happening across a company in all its departments, whether it’s football or another business.
He said: “The crossovers between the executive world and the football environment are getting more commonplace nowadays. I think football has become more of a business, if you like.
“You can never lose track of the most important thing for any manager or team on a Saturday – that’s to win a match. But you also have to be very cute in the business world, I think, and understand, as I did in my first job, where you stand as a business. You have to understand the finances and have a grasp on the business side of that organisation to take the team forward.”
Pearce cited his time as Manchester City manager as an example of the importance of having a grip on a club’s finances. Chelsea bid for his then star-player Shaun Wright-Phillips, and knew the huge fee being offered was one the club couldn’t refuse. If they did, the club ran the risk of going bust.
Parting his final words of wisdom during his time at UCFB Wembley, Pearce quoted a former Newcastle United and Derby County boss.
He said: “Arthur Cox, who’s a fantastic role model to any young manager, said to me one day: ‘Just beware, whatever you say to any individual player they’ll remember it for a lifetime, but the words you use to them you’ll forget tomorrow’. They were so wise. You have to make sure that you quantify every word that comes out of your mouth every time you talk to a player or staff member if you’re a leader in any organisation.”