Let me acknowledge at the outset of this post, that I am interested in Leaders and Leadership, but have never followed women’s football. In fact, I only remembered that the Final was on around the start of extra time. Nevertheless, even watching for that short time was extremely moving, and got me thinking…
These are eight lessons that struck me are useful for leadership of all kinds, and particularly in business:
- LEADERSHIP LESSON 1: KNOW YOUR TEAM
- Maximise their strengths
- Minimise their weaknesses
Sarina Wiegman clearly knew and had assessed the individuals in her team.
- LEADERSHIP LESSON 2: COMMUNICATE EXPECTATIONS CLEARLY BEFORE ANY BATTLE COMMENCES
- Sarina Wiegman was asked what made this team so special. One of the things she highlighted was that there was some discussion early on about behaviour and it was not just words – they lived it.
- One of the management team interviewed after the game talked of how Wiegman had made her expectations clear to each player.
- She spoke to each individually and highlighted what the player was good at – and that was the role they were expected to fulfil. Everything was clear before the event, and there was so much energy saved because of that.https://talksport.com/football/1160231/sarina-wiegman-england-germany-womens-euro-2022-final/
- LEADERSHIP LESSON 3: LEAD BY EXAMPLE – THE LEADER CREATES THE CULTURE
- Much has been made of Wiegman’s calm demeanour – so different from some of the Men’s coaches. And the culture she created was one of respect. This spilled over into the culture of the fans. The Women’s Final was so markedly different from the Men’s games in providing a supportive, safe, family atmosphere.
- LEADERSHIP LESSON 4: DON’T PROCRASTINATE WHEN CHANGE IS NECESSARY
- Many commentators observed that one of the winning strategies was that Wiegman’s timing for bringing on Substitutes was almost impeccable – unlike some of her male counterparts who delayed too long and lost the advantage.https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/jul/31/sarina-wiegman-it-was-so-tight-but-who-cares-we-are-european-champions
- LEADERSHIP LESSON 5: SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS NOT TO PLAY
- Following the final goal, the Lionesses did not try anything fancy – they merely headed for the corner and made it difficult for the Germans to access the ball. They waited until the frustration created an error – got the throw in – and repeated the process. That showed maturity and wisdom – something I think sometimes gets lost in male ego in big games I have watched.
- LEADERSHIP LESSON 6: JOY IS INFECTIOUS
- Look how long the England fans (and millions round the country) stayed to absorb the wonderful atmosphere of celebration in the stadium – and think of all the dopamine and oxytocin that was flowing through the country as a result. I wonder how many babies were conceived that night??!
- LEADERSHIP LESSON 7: PEOPLE ARE LONGING FOR ROLE MODELS. One only has to look at how people, especially the young, slavishly follow influencers on social media, to understand how desperate they are for someone to follow and to show the way.
- LEADERSHIP LESSON 8: DON’T UNDERESTIMATE WHAT A GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS CAN DO WHEN YOU ENABLE THEM TO BOND AS A TEAM
- LEADERSHIP LESSON 8: A GREAT LEADER CAN CHANGE CULTURE, CAN CHANGE HISTORY.https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/jul/30/womens-football-and-society-has-changed-williamson-hails-euro-impact
Sarina Wiegman is such a leader, and I look forward to experiencing those changeshttps://www.creativetransformation.org.uk/international/