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Would you like a sports analogy with that?

Here at OneFifty, we (I say we, but I mean Alex Pearmain), love a sports analogy/metaphor. Big client meeting? That’s my Game 7 in the NBA finals. It works because it’s relatable. We get it.

I’m (and this is Dan, by the way) now going to tell you how I use the philosophy of Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola, to optimise my performance at OneFifty. And before you mention it – no, I’m just a suffering Arsenal fan who enjoys reading about sport-based philosophies.

Pep Guardiola (also known as “Fraudiola” depending on who you support) has a blueprint. His team must train, play, eat, and sleep a certain way. He wins (most) games, hours before anyone heads onto the pitch – the opponent is already defeated in the tunnel, awaiting the inevitable.

Here are some of his methods/skills that I try to apply at OneFifty:

  • Communication – In the past 6 months I’ve been in a transitioning phase. There comes a time when you stop (at least some of the) “doing” and start allocating tasks to fellow team members – coaching them through what needs to be done. Our good mate, Pep, doesn’t just give orders and off you go. He explains why something needs to happen and the best way to get it done. I know the team around me, their learning styles, and appropriate tone of voice to use – it all goes a long way in creating a great team environment and getting things done!

  • Innovation – Society changes and social media evolves. There is always a new method or idea that can be used. Guardiola decided to move Lionel Messi from the right-wing to a false 9 (a decoy centre forward) in 2009 and won the treble in his first season as Barcelona coach. Here at OneFifty, a great paid media strategy that worked 2 years ago likely won’t be as effective today. I constantly need to be using new, relevant information (that‘s data-led) to implement new ideas and get the best out of my work

  • Flexibility – Guardiola’s teams are widely known to play beautiful football – think Xavi and Iniesta (“Xaviesta”). But when the going got tough, who did he look to, to shore up his midfield? Tough man Seydou Keita. Pep was flexible enough to use different player profiles within his squad to get a result. At OneFifty I’ve had a great opportunity to learn a variety of skills – from data, to content-writing, to client-management. I work in a fast-paced environment, where quick-fire tasks can arise at any stage of the day. I have to be flexible around the given task. Do I need to combine both content-writing and data for this task? Which team members do I need to help? How do I re-prioritise my tasks? All important thought-processes that need to be actioned

There you have it – if you put your mind to it, sport and OneFifty share many similarities. Work ethic, team ethic, responsibility, and a bit of flair (!) can take you a long way.


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