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The Barcelona Way: Unlocking the DNA of a Winning Culture

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  30 reviews

In The Barcelona Way, sports psychologist Damian Hughes reveals the key principles that have defined FC Barcelona’s success and shows how the DNA of a winning team can be successfully applied to any working environment, with dramatic results.

'A powerful book on the important principles of creating a high-performing culture.'
Eddie Jones, England RFU Head Coach

FC Barcelo

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published August 9th 2018 by Macmillan
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Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. I'm a massive fan of culture change but also a massive fan of football and Barcelona are one of if not the best team in the world at the moment. So, what is it about their culture that has enabled them to get to this point. Once again their success has been built off the back of a succession of key managers that have had the opportunity to imprint their mark as a part of the culture that prevails at the club today. Cruyff and now Guardiola have been pivotal to their success and ...more
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I've got mixed feelings here, because this one's been pulled from distribution because Hughes plagiarized. Hughes has apologized and has a note about it up on his site.

As for the book itself, it's good. It blends the story of FC Barcelona and Pep Guardiola with an analysis of leadership and commitment culture ideas. It's a fun read, enjoyable as much for the look at Barcelona as for the application, and I think Hughes has plenty of good thoughts to offer this field of study.
Paul Freeman
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, non-fiction
I really enjoyed the mix of football and business team culture. A lot to take on with how to perform and lead teams that applies as much to business as it does football. Probably more outside football as not many teams have ever created a culture like Barcelona have done. I wish it could have expanded on why it has not been replicated by other teams.
Bruce Martin
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great account of the most successful football team of our generation and how although the players were amazing, the underlying culture developed from Cruyff through Guardiola has resulted in such success. I will definitely dip back into this book through my career.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
very interesting book. good parallels between leadership in business and football
David Lewis
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At the intersection of two of my big interests simply told with great insight stories and practical application. Recommended by my friend Ian Moore. X
David Cullinan
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Good insight into the recent story of Barcelona FC, with many common business ideas applied to illustrate points.
Didn’t learn a whole lot new but good examples of those ideas in practice to compliment existing theoretical understanding.
Hege Kristine
An outsiders perspective on the impressive achievements of FC Barcelona and the possible reasons for their success. Recommended for those who would like some everyday, practical tips on how to slowly, but surely develop or contribute to a performance culture (especially in, but not limited to sports).
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book, brilliant blend of leadership and football written in a really accessible way. The activities and things to consider make it practical too. Brilliant for leaders who love football or anyone interested in Barcelona and curious about Pep Guardiola's genius. ...more
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A different approach to self help, management books in comparison to what I would normally read.
Jose Maria
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The idea to merge sports and management is not a new one, but the way in which the author links the evolution of Barcelona (under Guardiola's leadership) and the explanations of methods that any leader can use, is really original.

There are some sentences inside the book that for sure I will use in the future, for example que Culture definition: “Culture is what happens when the leader isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time”

If you like football and want to know how to develop a h
Awortwi Dzimah
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Inspiring! Brought me to my knees to wholeheartedly be a passionate fan of Barcelona. This is an authentic curated write up of a high-performing sports team as related to business. Damian Hughes did a great job in convincing a skeptic like me.

Lesson learnt:

1. Targeted leadership
2. Authentic leadership
3. The tenth Man rule
4. The necessity of skills and intelligence key in shaping a winning culture
5. Finally, I am going to read this book again and repeat the process till I can quote
Jul 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
其次,这本书是关于管理和文化,不管是哪个领域或者组织(公司,体育club,...) 这本书很有用。
最后,我很后悔因为我没有感受到以前巴萨的足球风格因为在此时间我以憎恨看它们的比赛,目前没办法看那么厉害的巴萨因为Guardiola,Xavi,Iniesta 已经离开了,所以有时候我觉得在生活中如果遇到比我们厉害的对手,要么向他们努力学习,要么欣赏他们的表演[Onlooker]
Apr 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
This is an ode to the destruction brought by the mandatory school system that produced Hughes. A city has "his way". No, it's not a city. It's a football club. The club has a DNA. And that DNA is locked. There is also such a thing as a Winning Culture. Probably in the second volume Hughes will point out the connection with the Pyramids and the secret tunnel to the unfinished Sagrada Familia church. ...more
Aarif  Billah
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Barcelona Way - Professor of organizational psychology and sports psychologist Damian Hughes details how Association football (soccer) clubs demonstrate the way to organize for success. A case study worthy of admiration and replication.
Ieuan Bartlett
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend ‘The Barcelona Way’. Brilliant mixture of leadership and football written in a really accessible way. Brilliant for leaders who love football or anyone with an interest in Pep Guardiola's genius.
Stefan Persson
Aug 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
what an absolute joke of a behind the scenes insight whatsoever. tell us something about the club we can't see on tv or read in the papers....rather than interpreting how certain well known events in the club was managed. waste of time! ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome read! BARCA approach is excellent and can be applied to sports and non sports leadership. Chapters are laid out with examples and deeper understanding. This is good for a book in this category.
Paul Oneill
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
A good solid 8/10 book with some interesting team and organisational insights. Definitely worth a read, could probably have gone a bit deeper into the “DNA” of the culture but enough to get your brain thinking
Matt Cordas
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The arch of change, cultural influences, “a stop doing list”. A great culture driving book as to the ways Pep Guardiola influences changed. The book that swung me into a lockdown craze.
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Game Changer

You are probably doing your organisation/sports club and yourself a great disservice by not reading this book. Won't be disappointed.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book about character, leadership, and how to create a commitment culture!!!
Jason Bauer
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture, coaching
Great read. Learned a lot about what it takes "behind the scenes" to build and grow a successful program. While the sports may be different, the process/information is the same!!! ...more
Pete Davis
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this. This book can be split into two distinct parts which are closely intertwined.

1. A detailed account of the start of Pep Guardiola's career. One of the best managers of all time, you can see how he has embodied the lessons that this book provides and therefore is a great example for there effectiveness in the real world.

2. The second part is the main point of the book - How to create a winning team - One main takeaway is how the culture of a business and the meshing of indivi
Sean Keet
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great insights

A wonderful trip behind the scenes at Barca and their methods. Great for anyone interested in how teams worked. I will look to buy all his books on the back of this one.
Balaji Nandakumar
I love fcbarcelona, but my review of this book will be unbiased.
This is about how Pep as he is fondly called built the la masia the academy and winning culture in barcelona.It was no doubt he came from the ranks of players to become award winning coach.Many of his principles still continue to guide the team and players. Shocking was how such a stellar player like Ronaldinho was shown the way due to his party culture and out of form and lack of col-linearity with barcelona system. it is a self he
Trung Nguyen Dang
Not insightful nor deep of Barcelona. It's too general, fluffy, and cover too wide about other things than Barcelona. It talks too much about cultures in general and try to convince the reader about the commitment culture in Barcelona with some snippers/stories here and there but not enough for a Barcelona fan. The earlier book that I read about Pep: Pep Guardiola: The Evolution, is much deeper and have more stories to tell. ...more
Alice Frank
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorite books on business/sports.
Juan Moreno
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really nice book for leadership.
Declan Cole
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Cultural Architects, Authentic Leadership, High Performance Culture, Big Picture, Humility, Hard Work, OODA: observe, orient, decide, action, X Spot
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Professor Damian Hughes combines his practical and academic background within sport, organization and change psychology to work as a trusted adviser to business, education and sporting elite, specializing in the creation of high-performance cultures.

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