After Mertesacker’s self-revelation, some sports greats have spoken up. Her statements say a lot about the change in communication and leadership styles.

Headlines were made especially by Lothar Matthäus. He has no sympathy for Mertesacker: “How does he want to continue to be active in professional football after these statements? He has the idea to work in the offspring. (…) How does he want to convey this professionalism to a young player when he says that there is too much pressure? That will not do.”

Matthew communicates according to the motto: Do ​​not show weakness! Only those who do not show anything, bring it on. It is significant that he even sees the acknowledgment of weakness as a quality that is completely unsuitable for the work of the next generation – an opinion which is in part still widespread in the economy.

Oliver Kahn, on the other hand, has defended Mertesacker: “I think that’s totally different. I believe that it is important in this day and age to deal with young people in depth as well. And especially when they are young and they are developing, to be able to give them something about it. “The former goalkeeper finds it essential to address the topic. He himself was only ridiculed in his day when he “put the word ‘pressure’ into his mouth.” Kahn even goes a step further: “These are topics that are not just part of football, but to any other profession too. How can I meet the requirements of my job? These are questions that we all have to ask ourselves again and again. ”

Kahn prefers an honest and emphatic style of communication that is designed to take people and respond to their problems.

The DIC recommends executives:

Take care of your fellow human beings. The communication style of Lothar Matthäus will not prevail in the long term. It is especially important to younger employees that their needs and concerns are taken seriously. If you can respond to doubt and dispel it, create confidence. This is how you can successfully lead your team.


Mertesacker had commented on the big burden in professional football. He even spoke of regular stomach problems and vomiting before important games. After the World Cup finals in the semifinals in 2006, he felt above all relief.


Image: Per Mertesacker 2012 (

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