What can Alan Pardew teach us about business?

by Paul Allen on May 19, 2011

When  Chris Hughton was sacked as Newcastle United manager, it created a media frenzy. The frenzy quickly developed into a storm on 6th December 2010 when Alan Pardew was appointed manager.

From pundits saying Chris didn’t deserve to be sacked through to fans predicting Pardew would be a failure, thousands of column inches were created each making difficult reading for the Reading FC boss. Given the managerial track record at the club, I think most observers gave him 6 months! Remember too, in the close season that Pardew had just been cruelly dismissed at Southampton for just failing to get the League One side into the play offs.

No matter how tough your resolve, an experience such as the one at Southampton must damage your self-belief. So to then start your next managerial appointment with yet another barrage of comments openly questioning your ability must have been tiresome to say the least!

Nonetheless, Alan Pardew remained dignified publicly and quietly set about the job in hand. At the time I spoke to a number of friends telling them I had a sneaky feeling he would prove them all wrong and almost wrote this blog at the time. However I am ashamed to say my belief clearly wasn’t as strong as his and now this end of season Guardian article has finally inspired me to put pen to paper!

So how did I know? Well as just a humble matchday host at Reading FC, I was lucky enough to work alongside Alan Pardew on match days and was able to observe him and his management style. I was impressed by the fact that he took a keen interest in every part of the match day experience, both from the fans and the players perspective. He wanted to know everything that was going on, everything that was planned and he was keen to offer advice and praise when it was due. For whatever reason it’s a memory that has endured, so to read that his management style at Newcastle has been described as quietly confident and methodical is no surprise and perhaps gave me the belief that he would make a success of the role despite everything seemingly being stacked against him.

So what can we in business learn from Alan Pardew?

Simple… two words self-belief!

So many times in business & indeed our own careers, we don’t take the big decision, we don’t gamble, we play it safe.

However, when Alan Pardew is set a challenge most of us would shy away from, he has total confidence in his ability to deliver, he proved it at West Ham and is now beginning to prove it at Newcastle United. Maybe we should take a leaf out of his book?

One thing is for sure, Alan Pardew will not enter into retirement one day in the future wondering what might have been….

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