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Lessons In Leadership

Do you fancy yourself as a leader, or have aspirations to become one? If so, some real life scenarios have just been played out, providing brilliant illustrations of some of the characteristics of what a leader does.

Steven Gerrard, as captain of England’s brutally disappointing World Cup team, recently told ESPN Soccernet, that the Lions deserve to be booed when they play their first home friendly against Hungary, since returning from their awful showing in South Africa. The Liverpool midfielder and striker, went so far as to say that if he were sitting with the fans, that he might be inclined to hiss as well

This is exhibit “A” in terms of leadership. Gerrard has taken full responsibility for the team’s failure, and not offered excuses for their flop . By suggesting that he might razz the team if he were a fan in the seats, the Merseyside native is empathizing with them, and encouraging them to ventilate. The fans will admire his sporting courage in admitting failure,and taking the usual punishment, in the likely form of some kind of verbal barrage. That is the one of the few ways a fan can be heard, when they feel shortchanged, other than staying away from the games entirely.

The Reds captain said: “ I’m expecting a mixed reaction……I’m sure there’ll be some boos but we have to take it on the chin. We deserve it, we let them down. Hopefully, with time, we can show them we are a good team and that we’re desperate to make them happy.”

Another important dynamic of leadership, is not blaming others for a failure, even if they may deserve some, or a lot of it. Gerrard did exactly that in praising England manager Fabio Capello, who has received some criticism for the way his team underachieved on the world stage in June and July. “I’ve got big faith in this manager. It would be very stupid and naive not to have that moving forward. He’s a fantastic manager. You can’t shift all the blame onto the manager in these situations. We have to share the blame and take it on the chin together.

“All the players will listen very carefully over the next couple of days and looking forward. Obviously things didn’t work out in South Africa so we have to listen to the man who has the experience and follow his lead.

“The manager spoke on behalf of us all yesterday. For me there are no excuses at all. The simple message is we have to show how sorry we are by our performance on the pitch.”

Fans for the most part, are fairly forgiving of failures, both the professional and personal kind. All they ask for,is some form of apology, whether it be in a verbal communication, or as Gerrard was suggesting, by performing to the level of ability that most followers want to see, and with the kind of effort the team would reasonably expect from themselves.

Leadership like that, is what the Three Lions need from the Liverpudlian.

1 comments: on "Lessons In Leadership"

theblacktippingpoint said...

Me being an Arsenal man myself, am a really big fan of Stevie G. He defines whata captain is and I find it sad that most England supporters find him and Frank as main villains for the world cup flop. Hopefully now with new players coming in England can be re-created under capello and go far in the Euro.