July 9, 2021
Sports commentators say a lot that is instantly forgotten and then, occassionally, utter words that become ingrained in our minds for ever. It may not endure in the same vein as “There’s some people on the pitch, they think it’s all over…” but one comment at the end of the England v Denmark semi-final this week caught my attention more than any other.
The standard of the leaders in the past couple of years in this country has been poor but look at that man there… he’s everything a leader should be: respectful, humble, tells the truth, genuine. He’s fantastic, Gareth Southgate.Gary Neville
Whatever your thoughts on many other leaders, there seems to be consensus on this matter. Most agree with Gary Neville that the current manager of the England men’s football team is a great guy and an excellent leader.
He’s not ‘showy’, he’s not egotistical, he seems to genuinely care. He speaks out clearly and thoughfully on important issues. He makes it about his team, not him.
In an interview after this historic win that takes England to their first major final since 1966, astonishingly, Southgate gives special mention to members of the original squad who were then excluded from the final group of 26 that were selected for the tournament. That is remarkable inclusivity and awareness in such a heady moment.
Lots more will be said and written about him, especially if he leads the team to victory in the final, and rightly so. Who wouldn’t want to work with this kind of leader? Clearly his current team do.
1 Comment | Character, Leadership, Managing People, Motivation | Tagged: garethsouthgate, Leadership, southgate | Permalink
Posted by nick howes
July 5, 2018
Right now as England face a World Cup Quarter Final against Sweden in two days, the talk of the town is not the players – usually the focus of most of the hype when it comes to football (Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar etc) – but the England manager, Gareth Southgate. It seems that everyone loves him.
I am very firmly in that camp too – Gareth Southgate comes across as an absolutely top class man. He conducts himself with humility, grace and calmness. He doesn’t make it all about him (take note Jose Mourinho). He encourages his players to fulfil their potential. He speaks honestly. He obviously cares deeply and understands that so many others do too; whether that’s the fans in the stadium whom he takes time to acknowledge after a match, the press corps, the English public etc.
One extraordinary photo, published after England beat Colombia on penalties in the previous match, shows Gareth embracing the Colombian player who missed their crucial penalty. In light of the particularly spikey nature of the on-field contest, this is especially remarkable. Contrast this with the German coaches who invoked the wrath of the Swedish manager earlier in the tournament by celebrating their last minute winning goal wildly right in front of the Swedish bench in an act of gross unsportsmanship which saw then banned by the German Football Federation.
Who knows what will happen in the rest of the tournament but there’s no doubt that the England manager has shone as an outstanding leader and his players (those on the inside) and the rest of the country (those on the outside) are firmly behind him in wishing him every success.
Leadership is about having clear goals, vision, communication, strategy, KPIs, performance measures and the like, but (and it’s a really big but!) it’s at least as much (I would argue more) about character – being a leader others trust and will gladly follow.
It’s why Personal Leadership is step 1 in LMI’s Total Leader process – it comes before Productivity, Motivational Leadership & Strategic Leadership. Leadership is influence through relationships. It’s a people thing. Gareth has got this part of it spot on and, best of all, it seems entirely genuine. He is being authentic, true to himself rather than following some leadership playbook. All leaders take note – the world’s a much happier place and results are much more likely to be good when you have this level of goodwill towards you.
Best of luck Gareth and the team. YOU have won us over and we would be delighted to see you succeed (not sure I could have said this about your predecessor).
P.S. If you’ve not seen it yet, check out the Twitter feed #GarethSouthgateWould for some light entertainment!
Leave a Comment » | Character, empowerment, General, Leadership, Personal Leadership | Tagged: Character, Leadership, southgate, threelions | Permalink
Posted by nick howes