Insights / Articles 20/11/2022

Mojo could've predicted the Ronaldo storm at Manchester United

Mojo could've predicted the Ronaldo storm at Manchester United

After his TV interviews hit the front and back pages of newspapers, it's clear that Cristiano Ronaldo is unhappy at Manchester United. Had the club been using mojo, his unhappiness would have been identified long ago - and his requirements understood, perhaps, even before he joined, if mojo was used in recruitment.

What makes Ronaldo tick?
At a guess, Ronaldo's top three intrinsic motivators would be:

- The Star: He seeks recognition, respect and social esteem.
- The Builder: He seeks money, material satisfactions and above average living.
- The Director: He seeks power, influence and control over people and resources.

At present, it's clear that his satisfaction with Star is low, as he's not a first choice pick, despite his worldwide fame and glittering career to date.

Given his comments about his perceived lack of respect from his manager, Erik ten Hag, Ronaldo clearly feels he doesn't have the influence he desires, so his satisfaction with Director is low.

At a reported salary of £500,000 per week, he's likely to still be satisfied with the financial aspect of Builder; but his desire to earn money may make it difficult for other clubs to pay his wages, so his options for joining other clubs will be very limited.

Assuming the above motivators are correct for Ronaldo, had he taken a mojo map before joining Manchester United, the results would have strongly indicated that unless he was seen as and treated like the star player and given an influential role in the dressing room, then dissatisfaction would occur. Which is exactly where we are at with him now.

How to solve a problem like Ronaldo?
So, what to do? It's unlikely that ten Hag will change his mind about Ronaldo and build the team around him - especially as Ronaldo at 37 is old for a footballer. Therefore, the best result all-round would be for Ronaldo to leave. If advising Ronaldo on his next move, it would be worthwhile asking if he may flex on his Builder motivator and take a lower salary in order to feed his Star and Director.

The importance of understanding your employees
It could be that we have it wrong about Ronaldo - perhaps, given his charity work, he is more of a Searcher, who seeks meaning, purpose and wants to make a difference? He is well-known for putting in extra training, so perhaps he is an Expert, who seeks knowledge, mastery and specialism? There would only be one way to find out - for Ronaldo to take a mojo map.

The big question is: do you understand what intrinsically motivates your team mates? You may think you know, but do you? Matching someone's intrinsic motivations is proven to increase productivity, so is worthwhile investing in.

If you'd like to know more about how mojo drives productivity, boosts wellbeing and builds resilience, get in touch: