It's fair to say that for most England fans Gareth Southgate has exceeded their wildest expectations in what he has achieved with a 'squad in transition' when he took the helm in September 2016. So we can all be certain that Mr Southgate is not your old-school 'rant and rave' manager, so how has he managed to instil success amongst some of the most highly paid young men in the country? And what can we learn from his approach when managing our own professional team?
As in football, for any professional services outfit, your staff are your biggest asset. The irony that they are not formally valued on your company balance sheet is not lost to us but it is the quality and motivation of your team which would be very attractive to any potential suitor of your business. It’s crucial that you get to know each of your team at a personal and career level, so that you can provide the platform for them to grow
Have regular check-in's
The first reaction of Mr Southgate after the win against Czech Republic was to speak with those on the bench who didn’t play. it’s not a contradiction that each individual has both desire to be a team-player and also an ego to nourish and protect. As an owner it’s your responsibility to have a regular frank conversation with your team-players to find out what they need from you to perform and be ready to step up when you need them most.
Focus on training and development
It’s no coincidence that Mr Southgate has included many players from his time as Under-21 manager, when performance, tactics and strategy were more important than results. They have also been trained to speak to the media, possibly the hardest part of a footballer’s job, have you noticed how more articulate players are now than 25 years ago? In today’s fast changing world, your team needs to keep up with their CPD, but be flexible towards what this is and giving them the time to best utilise it.
Share Internal Company industry wide information – Everyone wants to be the best version of themselves and the team they are in. Mr Southgate will have shared his vision for the team and the performance statistics compared with other teams, doubtless he will know and share with his team fitness, possession, tackling and scoring metrics. As the business owner, a great way to obtain staff engagement is to share the financial performance of the company regularly. To share your company performance targets, assess actual results and engage in dialogue of what’s gone right or wrong and agree what needs changing going forward. Explain to each team member what it means for both the team and them if they improve their performance.
Although your business is of great importance to you as the owner, in some ways it is just a game. it's you and your team against your competitors and if you perform better ultimately it will show up in your results (and your profits)