Business lessons learnt from the "real" football
I've seen some terrific leaders, managers and contributors during my 25+ years in business management and as an accredited football (soccer) coach, I can say the same about coaches, managers and players - and we have a number of common personality traits
Whilst my work is an important part of me and I really enjoy working with my team as GM at Warringal fs, for those who know me well, know I'm really passionate about 3 key areas of my life - family, friends & football
I'm an all-in type of guy - 100% or nothing - so when I commit to something whether it be work or pleasure, I give it my best crack - always.
In my coaching career I have long used the mantra - "Attitude is Everything"
The key here is your understanding of Attitude – as many great coaches have attitude and ego however not always good or even the right attitude to groom their teams for sustained success.
The right attitude delivers greater outcomes - especially when working with teams.
Know what you are good at - and stick to it
The best football managers have great support teams.
Good Attitude followed by Good People is a key part of any team success.
With the right support and process we can obtain clarity on where we want to get to or what we want to achieve (goals) and we have identified how we want to get there (strategy), however more often than not I see individuals trying to do it all - the "no-one can do it better than me" attitude.
The old adage - "Jack of all trades - Master of none" - holds firm for these "me" types
Brian Clough one of England's greatest football managers was only half as effective when he worked without his trusted assistant Peter Taylor - as seen in Dammed United. Whilst mainly fictional, this terrific story covers Clough's ill-fated 44 day tenure as football manager of Leeds United in 1974.
Be clear and honest in assessing your key strengths, and get some 360 degree feedback also - the results may surprise you as often how we are perceived by others is not how we perceive ourselves to be - so that you can be effective in adding value and then recruit good people around you to undertake the critical roles you cannot undertake due to either skill set, desire or both.
Know your people - I mean really know what makes them "tick"
The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
Good support teams get the best results from each other's efforts and always in the team's best interests.
Make sure you really get to understand what's important to your people - their values, their fears, what they feel they can truly deliver, their life events and background - for we are all a product of our environment - and then ensure you tailor your delivery to each of them.
I know in the dressing room there are some players I can "verbally dress down" in front of their team mates knowing that I will get a positive response because of who they are whereas with others a calming word one-on-one is more effective.
Success through others is a great skill and you’ll be surprised by the results.
Bill Barnett from Stanford University refers to this as - Leading by Example or Leading by Design
Understand the true value of relationships
Often referred to as relevance and alignment
Good People with Common Values and Purpose is the final piece of any successful team.
Don't suffer "fools" - they are like a cancer in your team.
Another one of my coaching methodologies and one I was intrigued to learn recently is actually one of the rules the mighty New Zealand "All Blacks" use within their team code.
Players lead and hold each other accountable with humility and respect, something NRL and AFL sides may well benefit from adopting.
It takes strong leadership to move on your best team member if their behaviours are not aligned with the team ethos but it needs to happen. Too often I see bad and destructive behaviour tolerated and it only leads to the long term detriment of a team's performance and ultimately the destruction of team dynamics and relationships.
After all, neither party should win at the others expense so take the time to understand yourself and those closest to you for whether it be in life, business or sport - "it's all about relationships"