Leadership starts at the top

Throughout life, we each find ourselves a part of many teams with different dynamics and different leaders – sometimes we may be team members, other times we’ll be leaders. It’s always interesting to learn from others’ approach to leadership and maintaining successful teams, regardless of the experiences you’ve had so far. 

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has given the world a spectacular show of leadership from those who are managing some of the best talent on the global football field. Whether you’re a diehard football fan or just enjoy getting swept up in all the excitement, there’s plenty to learn from those who are at the top of their game. 

Strong relationships matter 

Out on the field, success hinges upon the pillars of trust and communication. Neither of these two things can happen if relationships aren’t carefully built and maintained. A great example of this is found in Brazil’s team. They may have been knocked out of the competition, but they also are more in sync with each other than many other teams – and it’s easy to see this on display. 

Their coach, Tite, has been with them for 6 years, an unusually long tenure in the world of football, and this time has given him the opportunity to build a team dynamic that has seen them be extremely successful. Of course, many will see their exiting the competition as a loss – and the fallout will no doubt see some uncertainty for the team moving forward – but it’s worth recognising what they’ve built together and the success they have seen, nonetheless. 

Leadership must be modelled by example 

Big sporting events always see powerful, photo-ready moments. One of my favourites from the World Cup is the image of Hajime Moriyasu, the manager of Japan’s team, bowing to the crowd after their loss to Croatia. With this action he recognised all the supporters who had come from Japan, showed his respects, and modelled this for not only the team but to the millions of spectators. 

It’s easy to say that respect is at the heart of your team but words mean nothing without the actions to back them up. Leaders should be taking a leaf out of Moriyasu’s book, modelling the values of the team at every opportunity and especially in the face of perceived failures. 

Winning isn’t the focus 

When it comes to the World Cup, there can only be one winner. The rest of the teams are made up of the best players in their respective countries. Not winning the competition can feel crushing – especially for the fans – but it doesn’t mean failure. 

Neither Brazil or Japan have made it to the final stage of the 2022 competition, but this doesn’t mean that they haven’t created strong, talented and successful teams – they wouldn’t be playing at this level if they hadn’t.

Coming out on top – whether you’re on the football field or simply working towards a goal in your organisation – can come down to who your competition is. Leaders and team members alike have no control over that. Instead, it’s about building the strongest team possible and getting everyone on the same page, so you can work effectively together to achieve your goals. 

Whether it’s thanking the crowd or working out the right tactics to win each game, sports coaches and managers are doing exactly what leaders within organisations are doing, just in a different setting. It’s time to learn from some of the leadership on display. 

Want to build successful teams? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.