However, it may be that the real talent of the ‘waistcoat wonder’ is not so much his leadership ideas, as his courage to implement them. I have watched Southgate and recognize many of his principles from very old management theory. Perhaps one of the simplest to relate to is the Adair Model of Leadership that advocates the importance of a focus on three key elements. Firstly, to focus on the Individual: After each match Southgate can be seen approaching every player with a personal message, he clearly treats them as individuals and understands their unique strengths. Secondly, he maintains a focus on the Task: Endless penalty taking, the review and planning of set plays. It is no accident that the majority of the goals scored have come from this focus on how to get results. Lastly, a clear focus on the Team: Listen closely to Southgate being interviewed and he always talks about and complements the team, including the staff. He never singles out a specific individual without bringing the role of others into sharp focus. He uses fun to bring the team together and supports team activities and engagement. Adair explained how these three factors interact and the effective leader needs to work with all three.
This is not rocket science but does demonstrate a leader who has learnt from experience and has the courage to implement his learning. Too often I see leaders on courses who seem to understand the principles but then fail to implement them in the workplace. The standard reason is because, they are too busy or feel that they are not following the established culture, or some other excuse. Teamwork is no accident, it is the product of good leadership.
What have your learned that you need to start implementing?
Where do you need the courage of your convictions to change the way you do things?
How can you use and apply the Adair model of leadership?