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The Not-so-tragic Story of Julian Nagelsmann

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Who is expecting that a manager with more than 70% winning rate and trophies in just 1 year of handling the team, currently challenging for all possible titles, will be sacked without the slightest warning? Well, that's happening for Julian Nagelsmann, the ex-head coach of Bayern Munich, the most successful club and the owner of the best stadium in Germany, Allianz Arena.

The importance of perception and reputation can't be looked down on anymore, since even when you have the fundamental right, you can't go forward without a good reputation. The idea of having good soft skills to support your career has been here since long ago, but the importance has never been higher than now, due to digitalization and social media.

So what exactly is wrong with Nagelsmann and who is actually to blame when it turns into a disaster for him?

  • Too technical

Due to his perfectionism nature, Nagelsmann always focused on how to execute flawlessly. His strictness is very famous among players under his tutelage. Considering multiple elements in football, not just the technical one, this kind of extreme approach to one specific area has an obvious risk, especially for players that are not benefited from his technical coaching and minimum track record to prove it works. Once players are not supporting you, it won't be easy to implement your ideas as a coach.

  • Too Authoritative

The director and internal stakeholders of the club are basically the legend of the club as well as the ones who will decide about his career. As you are the manager and the leader of the team on the field, there is definitely pride that you need to wear. But against this type of stakeholder, who has an understanding of the culture of the club as well as having played on the field, something other than this kind of strong authoritative method won't work.

  • Scandal

His scandal with one of the reporters of the club exclusive's media has turned the public against him. Portrayed as someone who is so visionary and focused on football, but suddenly this issue comes into the picture and brings a bad influence on him. He who was once loved by the media and supporters now becomes someone that brings confusion to the supporter. And this isn't good because supporters are the ones who have the strongest voice in the club.

What can we learn from this, and what can you do to avoid a situation like this?

You can employ a stakeholder management method, by addressing each stakeholder individually, but still in relation to other stakeholder groups. This will ensure that there is a certain alignment of information and communication that you can control, as well as having a better view of the overall situation. Below are some strategies you can use as part of this method.

  • Mapping your stakeholder, to understand who is your supporter, and who is your adversary.

  • Create a communication strategy for each.

  • Be strict but emphatic with your communication.

When the personification and information flow becomes much faster and wider, failure to manage your reputation becomes an intolerable risk for your life. Take control of it!

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