I am possibly going to regret this blog as – at time of writing – the Sunday European championship final hasn’t happened. I’m not particularly a football fan, and I’m actually officially Scottish, but am always reminded of how old I am by the number of ‘years of hurt’, as I was born in 1966..
Well – actually no – I am not going to regret it as – whatever the outcome on Sunday, Gareth Southgate’s leadership style has got the England team to the final, and it’s worth talking about.
In every business, small or large, people work for PEOPLE, not organisations. In your business, think about the decisions you make every day. The interactions you have. The impact that those decisions and interactions have on your team, and your customers or clients. Life is all about ‘How to Win Friends and Influence people’ after all. (If you haven’t read that book yet, do – it will change your life)
He aligns the team
Aligning your team to the goal (not just the 24 x 8ft one) in your business requires your attention. Every day. Behaviour breeds behaviour as they say. (They also say the fish rots from the head – so watch out!) Think how positive the team have been – Southgate’s honest, thoughtful and genuine style, coupled with his passion to succeed has been infectious. (Wrong word choice perhaps in the current times, but you know what I mean..)
He knows what’s going on:
Gareth Southgate is a credible, and respected leader who has been in the player’s shoes, he understands what they are thinking and he ‘Gets it’ when it comes to the challenges and the issues his team are going to face. Is that you in your business? First hand experience of all aspects of your business isn’t necessarily a must, but it helps. If you don’t have it, it pays to be humble, ask questions and listen to your team. Being a part of a bigger whole instils a sense of belonging, and engagement.
He has brave with decisions and shows resilience
Be brave with your decisions – tough ones regarding team selection for this championship and dropping Wayne Rooney in the world cup are ones he has made. A lesson for us all – don’t dodge the tough decisions, but think them through and don’t make decisions on impulse. Be resilient yet bold, and count yourself lucky that you don’t have to justify your decisions to the 24 million watching. That’s pressure.
He has a personal brand, leads by example, trusts and is trusted.
Is your personal brand reflected in your business? Remember when Southgate kitted out the team in sharp suits for the World Cup? Everyone was talking about it (and sales of waistcoats rocketed!) This was his way of steering the team to be professional, considered and controlled. Southgate exemplifies decency and courage. Southgate’s honest and authentic approach to leadership has meant that he listens to ideas and takes them on board. How many times have I spoken about TRUST in my previous missives? As a leader in your business, you CANNOT do it all yourself. You trust someone who listens to you – and you believe and engage with the direction they are going.
He leads with a positive, generosity and with empathy
Encouragement and guidance – taking time to speak to players individually, being understanding and showing empathy as a leader is evident in Southgate’s leadership style and it pays back in spades. As a leader, you don’t need to prove you’re perfect – you will make mistakes, and that’s life. We are STILL talking about ‘THAT penalty’ in 96… As a good leader, you show yourself to be accountable and take ownership of setbacks, sharing the lessons you learn along the way to empower others.
Think about your leadership style and how you impact your business.