Derek is the successful manager of a small local business. In his regular column, he answers the many questions asked of him by people around the world.

Dear Derek,

My subordinates are rapidly losing confidence in my authority. Do you have any good tips to improve my leadership skills?

Nicolás, Venezuela

Well Nicolás, that’s a very good question. As you can see, my incredible leadership skills have got wee Plymouth into the heady heights of sixteenth in League One. Here are my top tips to you on improving your leadership skills.

Treat your most talented people with an iron fist

Earlier in the season I had the foresight of deciding to drop Rúben Lameiras for three months despite him being one of our better players over the first few weeks of the season. If you ignore the three-month period where he didn’t play and we barely won a game, we are reaping the rewards now. Some people will say that you should treat people like Rúben well to stop them leaving. I say, you’d be following a tiny League One club had it not been for the superb job I’ve done over the last three years.

Crush dissent by any means possible

The free press is a problem both in your country and ours. Chris Errington questions my tactics and gets hailed as a genius by the braying masses. Journalists must be stopped at all costs – like how I tend to give very vague, blunt answers in my press conferences. I’d have banned the Herald if I had my way but Simon Hallett said we need to keep the media on side, or something.

If in doubt, go to your book of insults

After I called the fans yobs, we won two consecutive league games. If there’s any similar behaviour in your place at work – mass protests, demand for you to be replaced, etc. – the key is not to engage with them. These wreckers only want to bring you down. Insult them in every way you can and things will improve.

Those are my top three tips for you there, Nicolás. You should also look at bringing in some reinforcements. I hear local to you that there are good attackers from Cuba, and a few Bolivians who can do your dirty work. Best of luck – I hope we both stay in post for long to come.

All my love,