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Boot Room to Boardroom Index

Is your boss more of a Mourinho or a wannabe Wenger? Our inaugural study examines what leadership characteristics are associated with famous football managers

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Totaljobs have created the inaugural Boot Room to Boardroom Index, looking at the management styles of 20 of the UK’s most high-profile managers.

The following infographic presents the findings in a league table format based on which managers best demonstrated the characteristics that the UK workforce look for in a boss.

The research found that the UK workforce most look for managers to be positive (34%), open-minded (32%) and reliable (30%). Arrogance (46%), having an ego (37%) and being patronizing (33%) were deemed to be the least attractive characteristics in a manager.

Managers from Europe faired better than their British counterparts in the study, with managers from the continent often being described as ‘ambitious’, ‘passionate’ and ‘successful’ compared to ex-England managers who are described in more pragmatic terms such as ‘loyal’, ‘determined’ and ‘humble’.

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5 ways to maintain a healthy relationship with your boss

Using the results of the Boot Room to Boardroom Index, totaljobs has produced 5 tips for ensuring you have a strong, healthy and progressive relationship with your manager.

1. Strive for success

Being successful is regularly cited as the most attractive quality in a manager, but success works two ways, and naturally a manager wants to work with employees who strive for success and to become more successful at what they do.

Ensuring both you and your manager are working towards the same end goal and share the same vision of success is crucial to a strong working relationship.

2. Talk regularly

Communication is vital in ensuring the end goal is clear, and that ideas and opinions are expressed and heard. Establishing strong lines of communication with your manager, and expressing concerns and problems before they become larger issues, will ensure the relationship remains healthy.

3. Open your mind

Don’t forget that your manager was once in your position and gained experience that they have taken into their managerial role.

By being open minded, accepting of constructive criticism and receptive to learning new things, employees can take on these positive characteristics and gain invaluable experience.

4. Speak up

Managers that are in tune with the needs and demands of a younger workforce tend to be the most successful. By making your ideas heard and expressing your personality through your work, your manager is more likely to be receptive to your wishes as you will have built a natural rapport.

5. Teamwork makes the dream work

Teamwork naturally produces stronger results, and just as a manager can’t achieve anything without their players, employees are crucial to achieving end results by working with their managers.

By both learning from managers but also acknowledging their importance and worth to the company, employees can work towards achieving the strongest results possible in our work as a team.

Boot Room to Boardroom Index: The top 3 characteristics assigned to each manager

1. Antonio Conte
1. Successful – 39%
2. Passionate – 30%
3. Ambitious – 27%

2. Claudio Ranieri
1. Successful – 31%
2. Passionate – 26%
3. Humble – 24%

3. Jurgen Klopp
1. Charismatic – 32%
2. Successful – 29%
3. Passionate – 29%

4. Gareth Southgate
1. Humble – 21%
2. Loyal – 20%
3. Ambitious – 20%

5. Mauricio Pochettino
1. Ambitious – 26%
2. Passionate – 25%
3. Successful – 24%

6. Chris Coleman
1. Loyal – 22%
2. Passionate – 22%
3. Ambitious – 21%

7. Pep Guardiola
1. Successful – 46%
2. Ambitious – 27%
3. Passionate – 26%

8. Martin O’Neill
1. Passionate – 28%
2. Driven – 26%
3. Successful – 26%

9. Rafael Benitez
1. Successful – 31%
2. Passionate – 22%
3. Ambitious – 21%

10. Harry Redknapp
1. Successful – 31%
2. Passionate – 22%
3. Charismatic – 20%

11. Ronald Koeman
1. Ambitious – 23%
2. Focused – 20%
3. Successful – 19%

12. Brendan Rodgers
1. Ambitious – 20%
2. Successful -19%
3. Passionate – 18%

13. Sir Alex Ferguson
1. Successful – 54%
2. Driven – 32%
3. Passionate 32%

14. Arsene Wenger
1. Successful – 33%
2. Loyal – 28%
3. Driven – 20%

15. Gordon Strachan
1. Passionate – 22%
2. Driven – 19%
3. Determined – 19%

16. Roy Hodgson
1. Humble – 15%
2. Successful – 14%
3. Loyal – 13%

17. Fabio Capello
1. Successful – 21%
2. Ambitious – 15%
3. Passionate – 14%

18. Sven Goran Erikkson
1. Successful – 23%
2. Focused – 14%
3. Ambitious – 14%

19. Sam Allardyce
1. Determined – 17%
2. Passionate – 16%
3. Driven – 16%

20. Jose Mourinho
1. Successful – 47%
2. Arrogant – 29%
3. Passionate – 28%

Notes to Editors: Research Methodology

The totaljobs research asked 2,051 UK workers aged 18-65 what they thought were attractive and unattractive qualities in a manager. Once the most attractive and unattractive qualities were established through quantitative research, the 20 most popular terms were placed in a table.

Respondents were then asked to select the five descriptors they most associated with each individual manager. Attribution scores were given to positive/negative characteristics based on how popular they were amongst the UK workforce.

An “impact score” was calculated for each manager, by multiplying the attribute’s net score by the percentage of people that picked it. To continue the example, if 40% of people had listed ‘egotistical’ for Jose Mourinho, this would result in an impact score of -0.40 (40% * -1) for this attribute. The impact scores were then added together to produce the overall scores in the table above.

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(All comments have to be approved before they appear)

  1. Ruth gibson

    I have looked at this with much interest but also concern. There is nothing about understanding the considerable stress that are on these managers to perform and deliver. Subordinates are often the first to leave when things go wrong. This is a worrying and one sided post

  2. Iain Blake

    I have found in different organisations I have worked you can generally split the management team
    3 ways. A third who are totally committed professionals. A third who hang on and generally go through the motions. And finally the third that are really poor and should not hold senior positions.
    As for their characteristics, this can be a pretty random mix.

  3. gary ruane

    Never worked for a decent boss yet . Worked in a lot of companies through the years saying they listen to their workers needs just lies they all fail eventually with the wrong management. Management now is way out of control treating workers like they are daft most of the time. Basicly management is the lazy mans way out do as i say kind of attitude that has become the norm. Technology is not advancing in the right way the future is a very rocky road , most jobs i do now are cut to the bone trying to make profit the workers come last .The enjoyment of completeing any job now is taken away from you, you would be as well being a robot. I could never be in management as i cannot treat other people like a thing that must obey or your out the door. I like working and achieving and i have not felt like i have achieved anything since the nineties the only time i feel good doing a job now is for myself or family.

  4. Charles Evans

    The issue is the utter lack of transparency without all companies. The manipulation of promotion through relationships and the incompetent promoting the incompetent. There is only 1 things need from a company to ensure productivity and performance are at there best.
    Without that, regardless of how good most of your managers and workforce are, the environment will be one led by lies.


    I worked for a well known Swedish Hydraulic company for 6 months and my managers (MD) name was a guy called BOB. In 6 months i learnt more about how not to treat and motivate people customers and suppliers than anyone could possibly believe.
    His ability was ZERO!! in the 10 years they had traded in the UK the company never made a profit and he took great pleasure telling both the staff and the customers.
    As you would expect the company finally saw sense and sacked him as MD but they still did not grasp the concept of people management and hence lost everyone with passion, quality and potential for developing company turnover.


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