In Memory of Brian Clough

Sep 20, 2008
Brian Clough Statue in Albert Park, Middlesbrough.
Image via Wikipedia

Today marks the fourth anniversary of Brian Clough‘s passing.

Mr Clough, as he liked to be called, was one of the best managers that England has seen. He brough two different teams up from the Second Division to win the First Division. He won the European Cup twice with Nottingham Forest.

He had very unique methods, and methods that not everyone agreed with. But his success is undeniable, and we can all learn something from him. Here are 3.

For one, he had unshakeable confidence in himself. He’s said things such as “I certainly wouldn’t say I’m the best manager in the business, but I’m in the top one.” He knew he was a good manager, and he wasn’t afraid to say it. He wasn’t just talk, he backed up his talk with his successes, but he wasn’t afraid to speak for himself.

Secondly, he had a firm belief in how the game should be played. When asked what he would do if a player disagreed with his methods, he said, “I’d ask him how he thinks it should be done, have a chat about it for twenty minutes and then decide I was right”. He also famously said that “If God had intended for us to play football in the clouds he wouldn’t have put grass on the ground.” He had very firm beliefs in how things should be done, and he wasn’t afraid to say it. He wouldn’t have been as good a manger without.

Thirdly, he wasn’t afraid to shake things up. When he first took over Derby County, he released 11 players, and kept only 4. He never hesitated to change how things were. And it was something he wasn’t afraid to admit, saying that if he had gotten the chance to manage the England national team, he would have changed it “lock, stock and barrel”.

Confidence in himself, confidence in his belief, and a propensity for change. 3 ingredients that would push anyone towards success, don’t you think?

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David Cook: American Idol

May 23, 2008

It’s been about 17 hours since David Cook was announced as the American Idol. I don’t normally blog about entertainment news, but I’ve got to say, I’m really pleased he won. I’ll be the first to admit that his performances during the finals weren’t his best, but I still think he deserves to win, on the strength of the whole season. This isn’t meant as a put down of Archuleta, he’s got a great voice, but I don’t think he’s ready yet.

There are two main things that set David Cook apart from Archuleta, in my opinion. And they are things we can all learn and gain from, even if we aren’t in the entertainment business.

The first thing that David Cook has over Archuleta is stage presence. He’s got more confidence on stage, and carries himself better. Archuleta’s movements on stage still seem very awkward. David Cook, on the other hand, looks right at home on stage. He looks really comfortable there.

Secondly, and more importantly, David Cook is original. His originality set him apart from every other contestant this season. If you need proof, just check out his version of Mariah Carey’s “Always be my baby“, and compare that to the original. He heard things in songs that nobody else heard. He re-arranged songs in ways nobody else did. And to me, that’s what sealed it for him.

Two lessons that can be applied in all walks of life. Your presence – your confidence in yourself, how comfortable you are wherever you may be – makes a difference. And more importantly, originality has great value.

Picture by meagan383