Finally, after nearly two decades of living in the ‘home of football’, I’ve started taking some notice of the beautiful game. I’m pretty certain it is because there is something different and compelling about the vibe of the England World Cup team of 2018.
No doubt many factors and planets have aligned, but what stands out (to me anyway) about these guys is their leadership.
Unlike the collection of star individuals in sides gone by, these guys (and their manager) seem to possess all the finer qualities of leadership. They appear to be:
- Calm cool & collected… quietly confident
- Without any big egos … and everyone seems happy with being equals
- All about unity, togetherness and a helluva lot of positive energy
- Open, warm and real … with each other and with their fans
- Able to rise above pressure … they are not consumed by paranoia or fear of failure
- Embracing this as the time of their lives (instead of carrying the burden of a nation)
The team has adopted the persona of their leader, Gareth Southgate, and they are living the model he is setting for them.
- He knows his craft
- He worked hard for many years to get to where he is
- He overcame a lot (understatement)
- He’s living proof of how to handle the ups and the downs
- He understands the discipline of good people management
- He is the archetypal ‘everyman’ …. everyone who knows him says he’s just a really nice guy
And, he’s got a fabulous fashion sense (a bonus).
He’s been there, done that, got the hip vest.