Is football leading the way in leadership excellence?
There has been endless research and debate around management and leadership; is it nature or nurture? What is the difference between a manager and a leader and how do firms help their managers grow into leadership roles? Well to provide you with a working example, I saw a manager, not just managing his team but also being an inspirational leader.
When I watched the World Cup match, where the England team went out to Croatia last week, it wasn’t the match that took me by surprise but what I saw after the final whistle went. I saw the most incredible manager creating a safe environment for his relatively inexperienced team to practice their skills, and learn valuable lessons for the future, without fear of reprisals.
When the final whistle went there he was out on the field with a reassuring, understanding word for each of his players and support team. Of course I do not know what was said but for the first time in my memory I saw the whole team, players and support staff standing together as a united front, calm and unified. He led by excellent example, applauding the crowd for their support and congratulating the other team in the same personal and appreciative way as his own, with good grace and sportsmanship.
When some of his team bowed down to the ground in despair, there he was at their side, gently helping them to their feet in order to stand tall and proud for the achievement they had made in getting that far.
What a lesson there is to be learnt for all of us in those few short minutes, how he held his team in place, showed them that despite the score, they had done an incredible job to be proud of, and demonstrated to the world that the England football manager and his whole team were gracious and dignified in the face of their defeat.
So I am sorry that it isn’t coming home but with a truly inspirational leader to take the future of English football forward, it just might one day.
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