A light, enjoyable read. This is not your typical football biography book but more so leadership and management lessons from the footballing life of Carlo Ancelotti. In terms of leadership, there's a focus on "soft" leadership and that's what gives this book its novel touch. Some of the key repeated themes to be found throughout the book are how a calm, empathetic, patient mindset can be advantageous (and sometimes disadvantageous) and how language development, relationship building and trust are critical to team success. Below is a small selection of quotes from the book that stood out for me.
"There is power and authority in being calm and measured, in building trust and making decisions cooly..."
"When you watch Vito Corleone in The Godfather, do you see a weak, quiet man or do you see a calm, powerful man in charge of his situation?"
"Nothing is as important as being loved and valued."
"... it is important to learn the language as a way into the culture."
"Bothering to learn the language is a reliable indicator of the commitment of the player not just to playing the game, but to flourishing in the new environment. This is possibly why English players underperform in foreign leagues."
"My opinion is that players do their best when they are comfortable, not when they are uncomfortable."
"When I talk of players being comfortable, I do not mean in their playing – I mean in their minds."
"The players remember the occasions when I get angry because it happens rarely. If was to get angry every single day, they would not remember and it would not be effective on them."
"We need both analytics and instinct because eventually those who do not understand the data will be eaten by it."