When Liverpool Football Club appointed Jurgen Klopp as their manager in 2015, I remember telling a good friend I was sad he was not a Manchester United manager.
Klopp had spent 7 years with Borussia Dortmund and transformed them into a German powerhouse club. He was exactly the kind of long term thinker we needed.
He was appointed in the early part of the season and while Liverpool had shown some signs of improvement by the end, there was plenty left to be desired. They finished 8th in the league.
The next season was his first full season and there were visible signs of improvement. Liverpool were now 4th in the league and qualified for the European Champions League.
In his third season, Liverpool were beginning to do well and look consistently dangerous. They finished 4th again and had an impressive run to the finals of the Champions League. Thanks to a bit of misfortune, they missed out.
Klopp invested in areas they were weak over the summer and Liverpool came out all guns blazing this season.
The 2018/19 season saw Liverpool the English Premier League. But, against all odds, they overturned a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona to win 4-0 and make their way to the finals of the Champions League again. That time, only a fool would bet against them.
Liverpool also won the UEFA Champion’s League in 2018/19.
From his first three match that Liverpool drew under his tutilage in 2015 to the past weekend where his team thrashed Man United 5-0, Jürgen Norbert Klopp has always shown to be a strategic and long term thinker. No flamboyance about him. He is not dramatic and does not suffer from showmanship.
All this context underscores the central point, the benefits of good decisions compound over time.
Liverpool have been making positive strides every season and have been looking consistently better than their previous versions. That sort of improvement is not made overnight. But, viewed over a period of time, it is easy to realise the power of building strong foundations and making small improvements that compound over time.
Seeing the progress he has made in the past 6 years is a good reminder to make long term decisions. As long as you have the conviction, stay the course and do it with a great attitude [as he does].
When you build something that matters [business, career, team relationship], take a long term view, pace yourself, be patient, avoid flamboyance, take it one step at a time.
It may not seem to pay off for a while.
Until it does.
PS: I still wish Man United signed in 2015.