Stuart Kettlewell has let go of the “control freak” side of managing to leave some aspects of his role to the “experts” at Motherwell.
The Well boss is preparing for Saturday’s visit of Livingston whose manager David Martindale this week spoke in alarming terms about the stress and pressures of being in the dugout and how results can affect his family life.
Much of what the Livi manager said resonated with former Ross County boss Kettlewell, who has taken steps to help counteract the stresses and make his workload more manageable and focused.
Looking back to his previous managerial experience, he said: “I was responsible for absolutely everything, I had a hand in everything, every aspect of a football club, be it having knowledge of commercial, finance, youth academy, first team, recruitment, speaking to agents and players.
“I have decent knowledge already of all these aspects at Motherwell but what will allow me to be the best manager that I can be is to trust the experts in each department.
“Support them but realise you have good people in the building and trust them with the job that they do because if you spend too much on that it dilutes the work that you really have to do which ultimately is try to develop players and see if you can get three points on a Saturday, which is the most important thing.
“It is hard (to relinquish that control) when you are a little bit of a control freak which probably I am. It is difficult.
“To give you context, when I first took an under-20s group, I was the secretary, the physio, the coach, I organised absolutely everything.
“I organised the budget for the next season, literally to the penny. I done every aspect of it and I always felt that would stand me in good stead for whatever came, for whatever challenge I had.
“When you move into management you take that with you but you have to refine that a little bit.
“You have to channel the most important things and put a little trust in the experts, of which we have several at this football club.
“I give you an example; we have our head of recruitment, Nick Daws, I speak with him every day.
“I have never worked with a full-time head of recruitment. I used to speak to every agent and every player, watched footage of players and attended games constantly.
“We now have a small network of people at Motherwell who are spread across the country who do a lot of that work.
“Having a real trust in that and the belief in the work that is done there, it saves me time and allows me to focus on other aspects”.
Kettlewell has taken 13 points from 18 since taking over from Steven Hammell and is looking no further ahead than Livingston, who are six points ahead in seventh place.
The Well boss said: “I just think it is a big opportunity to amass more points.
“I am not taking Livingston into account, in terms of the difference in points between us and them in the league.
“We have been decent in the last spell because we have focused on the next game.
“We have put all our focus on what Livingston do, what they are very good at.
“I am very complimentary of the work Davie and his players have done, they have been excellent and we will have to earn anything we get from the game.
“Livingston don’t roll over and give you anything.”