As the last English football club crashes out of European competition we can be sure that the papers over the next few days will be full of commentary pieces, all trying to analyse why our international form has been so poor this year. Certainly, with top flight English players on average earning more than those in any other European country, it should have nothing to do with a lack of ability to attract top talent. In fact English premiership players earn some 60% more than those in Germany – with Italy and France following even further behind.
So what makes the difference? We’re not going to go into the analysis/blame game here but in general avid football watchers will point to team makeup and cohesion as key to success. They talk about having leaders on the field; not just the individual who wears the captain’s armband but individuals who step up and take personal responsibility for tactical awareness and creativity.
This idea of leaders without titles, individuals who act in a positive manner which helps to improve and heighten team performance is something which is not just confined to the sporting arena. It is a trait which we also see in business and when we do it may be time to start to develop those individuals for formal leadership roles in times to come. Leaders don’t suddenly leap into the arena fully formed; they develop and learn their craft over time; taking on responsibilities, helping to guide others to personal greatness and in the process developing team cohesion.