Mike Forde

Mike Forde

Former Director of Football Operations, Chelsea FC

Synopsis

As Director of Football Operations at Chelsea FC, Mike had overall responsibility for everything from recruitment to performance. He has also worked with Team Sky, and NFL and NBA teams, including NBA champions the San Antonio Spurs. He draws parallels between the requirements of business and sport, and explains the importance of analysis and adapting performance in a sector where return on investment is crucial.

Biography

Performance and talent expert Mike Forde was Director of Football Operations at Chelsea FC. He had overall responsibility for all of the sporting side of the Chelsea operation from recruitment to performance. He now applies his experience in high performance cultures and talent management to business and other sports, including working with NBA champions the San Antonio Spurs.

After qualifying in sports science and psychology & sport, Mike worked at Bolton Wanderers where he was Performance Director at a club acclaimed for their technical approach to performance analysis. He played a significant role in establishing Bolton as a Premier League team and their techniques were studied by other sporting clubs around the world.

Mike joined Chelsea where his work saw him develop innovative methods in player performance, development and recruitment. He is regarded by many as one of European football’s leaders in the field of integrating IT and big data, scouting, psychology and people management in order to analyse and instil a culture of high performance.

Combining business and sport, Mike draws parallels between the requirements of the high-performance, high-pressure world of elite sport, and that of any organisation. He explains the importance of analysing and adapting performance with lessons from a world where over 75% of wages are spent on less than 10% of the workforce and return on such a huge investment is crucial. Whether it’s better ways to get teams to work together, creating a world-class team, working in a high-pressure environment, or spotting, retaining and developing talent, Mike offers an insight into how the world’s most successful teams operate.

As well as the Premier League and Champions’ League winners Mike has worked with NFL and NBA teams in the US, Team Sky cycling, as well as the McLaren Formula 1 team and the Lawn Tennis Association. He has also teamed up with one of the most successful football club managers of recent history, Carlo Ancelotti, to write the book Quiet Leadership looking at the coach’s style of foster a winning culture, developing talent and engendering loyalty.

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