“In life you don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate” – Chester Karrass

What you can learn about your career from the sacking of Brendan Rogers

I don’t know if you follow football, or have the slightest interest in Liverpool, but football is a bit of a religion there.

One famous Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly, said “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that”.

As it happens I was born in Liverpool, got my first copywriting job there, danced in The Cavern before the Beatles were heard of, one of my sons has played guitar there – and I’ve even done a seminar at Liverpool football club.

Well, Liverpool has been having a hard time since Shankly’s day. But Brendan did a better job than anyone has for years. But football club owners are an impatient bunch and they replaced him with the charismatic Jürgen Klopp.

Was this a good idea?

Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, doyen of Premier League managers since Ferguson has quit says “no”.

He thinks Brendan did a fine job. And Jürgen has had catastrophic results recently – but time will tell.

Now to some important lessons, based on getting jobs and later advising managers when I helped run the worldwide Ogilvy business.

The quote at the top is from one of the only two training seminars I ever attended – on negotiation

I learned several things, one of which relates to Brendan’s fate.

Brendan was frustrated throughout his tenure because he didn’t control transfers. He had to answer to a committee. Hell on earth!

Jürgen insisted before he started that he, not the committee, would have the last word.

What comes next is so important you should never forget it.

Your best ever chance to negotiate for what you want is before you sign that contract. They’re still in love with you. Afterwards? Forget it.

Brendan didn’t do it. Jürgen has.

I know; it takes balls to make conditions if you really want the job. But if you don’t do it you will be at risk from then on.

The second most important lesson is this.

Once you’ve got the job, immediately make it clear what you stand for and what you believe in.

That’s when everyone is excited and hoping you’re the Messiah.

Seize the moment. Afterwards will be too late.

Jürgen did it with charm as soon as his position was announced. (I imagine Brendan did too, by the way).

So there you are – except for one thing.

How do you get the job in the first place?

Well, perhaps my ebook How To Get a Better Job will help.

It’s the most popular thing I’ve ever offered on line. And it’s FREEEEE!

About the Author


In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.

He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.

Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.

He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.

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