While the World Cup 2018 didn’t end in a victory like many of us had hoped, it did indeed bring home many lessons and reminders about teamwork, leadership, and encouragement.
“Manage every game as though you are going to be around forever.” – Gareth Southgate
Having spent the last couple of weeks digesting the whirlwind of a tournament, like many fans, we felt extremely humbled by the performance of our national team, and in particular, of the fresh-era leadership techniques of our team’s Manager, Gareth Southgate.
Every manager has their own style of leadership, and it comes as no surprise that Southgate received many a positive feedback about his, which was a welcome change from common leadership attitudes we often witness in the game – fierceness, feistiness, aggressiveness, accusatory, and quite often, non-inclusivity.
Some might say his softer approach showcased that he lacked strength, but he made very tough, and often bold, decisions in his career and this tournament – such as choosing to drop some of the biggest fan favourites in order to make room for young talent, who perhaps were lacking in experience.
When leading a team, whether in business or in football, it’s absolutely vital that you recognise not only what your leadership style is, but actively take the opportunity and time to learn about how your team is best motivated, inspired, and encouraged.
So what business lessons can we learn from the World Cup 2018?
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Southgate took the time to comfort Colombian player Mateus Uribe after missing his penalty shootout (something that haunted Gareth for over 20 years after missing his in 1996). While Gareth did celebrate the score alongside his team, he took a moment to be there for Uribe during what he genuinely knew would be a heart-wrenching moment, and one he’d remember for the rest of his career. That small gesture filled his team, the opposition, and fans with a great deal of respect and admiration.
There are times in organisations when leaders need to wear different hats according to the situation they are dealing with, but whichever ‘mode’ you find yourself in, there should always be that personability shown, for example, empathy, trust, clarity and calmness.
Failure is Learning
Though we didn’t bring it home, there was an abundance of pride and an intense sense of belonging and unity among fans, who were blown away with their team’s performance and attitude throughout the games – both on and off the pitch. Organisations are consistently changing and adapting too, and as such, trial and error techniques are hugely useful to ensure they keep moving forward and gain understanding of what works and what doesn’t (and why it doesn’t).
Empowering in the Right Way
All work and no play can be hard, exhausting, and depleting, which is why – when creating an environment and culture that your team enjoys and wants to be part of – rewards, recognition and teambuilding goes such a long way.
Motivating and engaging with your team doesn’t have to mean hiring out a cinema or going on an expensive teambuilding weekend, it can be as simple as supporting them with perks and benefits that they can access outside of work too.
From family and relationships, to financial and emotional health – if they’re feeling the very best they can by using such services, they will arrive more encouraged, supported and motivated to do the best job they can (and as such, you’ll see a positive increase in productivity, and profitability).
What leadership tips will you be taking back to the office?
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