A refreshing style in Gareth Southgate’s leadership of the England football team offers lessons for people in other fields. Cirrus CEO Dr Simon Hayward comments in an article by Glenn Moore in The Independent.

Southgate treats his players as grown-ups. They are expected to be professional, but have been given plenty of free time during and before the World Cup. Midfielder Fabien Delph was encouraged to go home during the tournament to be present at the birth of his third child.

He said recently: “We are a team with our diversity and youth that represents modern England. First and foremost, I will be judged on football results. But we have a chance to affect other things that are even bigger.” Southgate has fostered a culture of inclusivity and open-mindedness. Previous England teams have been bedevilled by inter-club rivalries and a state of mutual animosity with the media. Southgate has managed to banish both of those hindrances.

“Gareth works hard, I believe, to communicate with different players in different ways, suited to their personalities and needs, but with a core consistency,” says Dr Simon Hayward, a leadership expert and CEO of the consultancy Cirrus.

Southgate is not a soft touch, and he expects certain standards to be met. But as long as they are, he trusts and supports his players. They believe in him, and he believes in them, which (besides decent pay and conditions) is all an employee asks of any boss.

© The Independent 2018.

Read this article in full on The Independent website.

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