England fans might not be over the moon but at the end of the day character trumps charisma.I am often asked to talk about leadership. As an avid fan of football I sometimes use examples from the great game but in business the increasing tension is between quiet leaders and charismatic ones.
The appointment of Roy Hodgson as England manager illustrates this well.
Harry Redknapp was the fans and pundits choice and the appointment of Hodgson has been greeted with derision by some and cynical sang froid by others. I believe that even the underperforming players who observed twitter silence at the news in contrast with their post Capello tweetstorm in favour of affable 'arry will change their minds.
As a Fulham season ticket holder, an investor if you like, I followed Roy to the Europa final where we overachieved and then some. Roy managed the team with character. He was avuncular rather than affable, methodical rather than mercurial. He managed expectations but he also set them high. Quiet leaders like AG laffley of Proctor and Gamble and Sir Terry Leahy former Tesco CEO energise the effort of others, transmit confidence and calm and keep people focused on the big picture. Hodgson did that at Fulham and West Brom. He cultivated talent and coached players whose confidence he restored.
I well remember being at Eastland's when we came back from the dead to survive relegation. He did the same at West Brom. At Liverpool he failed because he wasn't Dagleish and the expectations of Liverpool fans have always been sky high.
Hodgson will bring intellect humility and quiet confidence to the role. Many will miss the colourful energy of Redknapp and will talk about 'Dull old Roy'. But he will certainly challenge players to lift their game he will be impatient with complacency from all quarters and he will align the set up to ensure delivery.At the end of the day if England want to seriously progress in world football and they need this quiet calculating leader.
Couldn't agree more John, give me talent over volume every time. I recall some years ago at a CIPD conference listening to Jim Collins and Jerry Porras describing some of the research for the books "Built to Last" and "Good to Great" and describing leaders of the most sustainably successful organisations being, more often than not, quiet thinkers who achieved great things through working with others. Here's hoping Roy adds to their evidence!
As a fellow Fulham season ticket holder, and a fan of the Jim Collins book "Good to Great", I couldn't agree more. Roy comes across as a man of integrity and one who can be trusted. His comments after matches are always thoughtful and respectful. In this time of uncertainty, we need leaders who adhere to the values of integrity, respect, trust and honesty and who are not seeking glory for themselves, but success for the organisation as a whole and the people who work there, whether a football team or a major corporation. I wish Roy well and hope that the England football team will learn a few lessons from him.
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