In 2012 Bournemouth Football Club were languishing in 21st position in League One of the British Football League. The club was on its knees financially. Staff weren’t being paid, bailiffs were calling daily and people were being made redundant.
Last night, 27th April 2015, Bournemouth (aka The Cherries) beat Bolton and are within a sheep’s whisker away from being promoted to the Premiership, the pinnacle division of British football. And for the first time in their 116-year existence.
So how has this phenomenal turn-around happened?
Many plaudits are citing the club’s manager Eddie Howe as being responsible. And doubtless he has played an incredibly powerful leadership role since returning to the club in 2012.
In typical understated style, Eddie is praising the club’s supporters, its chairman, the players, the coaches – anyone but himself in fact – for this outstanding rise to the Premiership.
It’s a leadership style that we have observed during our ‘most successful’ team building programmes. Those where the goal (no pun intended) is achieved efficiently and speedily – and they continue to succeed as we ‘raise the baa’ throughout the day.
The ‘gaffer’ (to continue the footballing lexicon) in these cases is normally unassuming, softly spoken and quietly confident that the team will do well at the tasks we set. They will take part in the exercises yet will mainly withhold their opinion and direction. The team players are empowered to unleash their ideas, play full out with spirit and prove their total commitment to the goal.
Football managers in particular have to keep calm and collected yet utterly focused whilst being in the spotlight every single game – and in between. Yet this won’t be every manager’s natural style of leadership.
What are your secret weapons to getting the best out of the teams you work with?