SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake manager Pablo Mastroeni received a phone call earlier this year from Freddy Juarez asking if he would be interested in joining Real Salt Lake to help change the dressing room dynamic.
Despite Real Salt Lake not having any ownership, the chance to shape a club’s culture was too exciting for Mastroeni to turn down.
So he left Houston and traveled West where he embarked on a journey that would change his perspective forever.
Culture Shift At RSL
The first order of business when attempting to change a culture is to eliminate the people that do not want to be a part of it. You do this by speaking to people, watching interactions, and assessing personality traits. This process can take some time, but without weeding out the negative, the positive can never fully flourish.
Then, Mastroeni goes to his checklist.
Mastroeni believes that these three core values are essential to creating and helping a culture thrive.
“If you do not want to be a part of a team, and this is about you, then you do not belong in the culture,” Mastroeni said. “The analogy I like to use is a family, right. When you raise kids as parents you are creating a culture, is it a positive culture where these kids can express themselves? Or do you expect these kids to do what you want? And there is a big difference in that. When kids can express themselves, because some might like science others might like art, but if you want an artist to be a scientist there is going to be a lot of fighting,” he added.
If you come across this post today I ask you to politely STOP ? what you are doing and take 2 minutes to watch the clip below. #RSL gaffer Pablo Mastroeni likens creating a culture at a professional sporting club to raising kids. @realsaltlake chose wisely ? pic.twitter.com/H29mV9u2uu
— Tom Hackett (@TomCantHackett) December 17, 2021
“It is hard to get 30 guys on the same page, but it is not hard to find 30 teammates,” Mastroeni emphasized.
Then, he goes on to explain the importance of effort and perseverance. Every day he wakes up and chooses to give 100 percent effort. He is not afraid to fail, rather, he welcomes making a wrong decision. But as long as he can give effort to the best of his ability then he is comfortable.
If you can overcome some difficult challenges that lie ahead then you will become stronger.
“These things are free, you decide as a human being when you wake up if you are willing to give those three things.”
Mastroeni was asked if he was surprised with how fast the Real Salt Lake players took to his leadership style.
“To be honest I did not know what to expect, I know what I know and I don’t know what I don’t know so it wasn’t like I had expectations,” Mastroeni said.
To listen to the full interview with Pablo Mastroeni and Tom Hackett, click here.