What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Arsene Wenger's Journey
Arsene Wenger announced his exit from the club after 22 years
For all the Gunners out there, there wasn’t much to be thankful for on Friday when they heard that Arsenal’s much loved and respected manager Arsene Wenger is going to leave the club by the end of the season.
There have been talks about his exit, with the club not performing well and fingers being pointed at Wenger. And now, the former French footballer has set all rumours to rest by announcing his exit.
Wenger, who is currently the Premier League’s longest-serving manager (22 years with Arsenal) has 823 games to his credit.
From his determination to succeed to his loyalty towards Arsenal, Wenger’s dedication for his club cannot be waived. Entrepreneur India takes a look at what entrepreneurs can learn Wenger’s journey.
Wenger over his tenure with Arsenal is known to have scouted for the best talent from abroad and has encouraged youngsters to find their way into the club. He was even called “Le Professeur” which is French for the teacher. Wenger is known to have recruited young footballers and trained them over time and put them on the path of success. One of the success stories from his recruits is that of George Weah, who he signed after being interested in Africa’s potential in football. Weah went on to win FIFA football player of the year.
When start-up founders bring in new hires, it is this Wenger that they need to remember. Founders too should be open to hiring young and talented people and then help them grow within their company.
The Frugal Spender
While other clubs make big headlines because of their expensive buys of players, Wenger is on the sidelines for his frugal manner of spending money. When Arsenal was moving to Emirates Stadium, his budget was restricted, but the manager managed to retain the good players and stayed in the top four clubs. Wenger has been quoted to say that while he’s not scared of spending but it’s the managers duty to find the best within a budget.
Entrepreneurs too have a lot to learn from this. Whether you are bootstrapped or funded, you should keep a check on your finances and spend within a budget while ensuring you don’t go overboard.
Determination to Win
When you start up, you need to have the hunger to win and the passion for your idea. And that is something you can learn from Wenger. His questionable game tactics aside, Wenger had an immense passion to win and was determined to see the club win always. Wenger took Arsenal to victory many a times, bringing home three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in his first nine seasons. For 22 long years, he stood by the club and also became the first manager since 1889 to take a team through an English top-fight season unbeaten.
When you are starting up, you are in it for the long run. There will be achievements and failures that will come your way but you should know how to handle them well. Wenger, as a long-standing manager, has been a crucial part of Arsenal's success and failures, but more importantly their journey. At times of failures, Wenger acknowledged the same and took the blame all on him.
Know When to Quit
There’s something to learn from the manager’s negatives too. Wenger’s journey with Arsenal though speaks of high loyalty, also brings about the thought – you should know when to quit. Because of Arsenal’s poor performance season after season, Wenger’s managerial position was often questioned by many with often Arsenal fans too rooting for him to leave the club. When you as a founder are not being able to do justice to your start-up’s worth, you should know when to step down and let someone else take the reins.
In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform).
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