Yes, you really did see Andrea Bocelli singing 'Nessun Dorma' to celebrate Leicester City winning the Premier League on the weekend.
The team's title-winning story is one of almost unimaginable inspiration and hard work. Football teams all over the country are wondering if they can 'do a Leicester', but it's not just football teams that can learn from The Foxes' shock success - businesses can too.
Creating high performing teams is the focus within most organisations. Leicester City’s victory has some simple yet powerful lessons for leaders in how to create not just a winning team but also a team of winners. Their manager, Claudio Raineri’s modern style approach of creating a challenging yet positive environment – which ultimately empowers each player to continually develop and reach their individual and collective peak – is one of the defining factors in Leicester’s unlikely success story.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to invest ahead of the curve and commit to their team, ensuring their capability and capacity grows as personal responsibility increases, fuelling growth. Raineri’s team weren’t all winners to begin with. But astute scouting and an emphasis on youth and bringing through cheap, but hardworking players helped the team stabilise and maintain power. Raineri made just 27 changes to his line-up across the entire Premier League season- the lowest in history. He committed to developing each player as an individual and as a member of a team, giving him a passionate, hardworking and ultimately, a winning line-up.
Micromanagement is the modern plague of organisational leadership. Raineri demonstrates the benefit of empowering individuals to play the game in front of them using their unique strengths. Raineri didn’t force his squad to play to his system. He started with their individual skills and strengths and empowered them to use these to play the game in front of them, together as a cohesive team.
When you lead a business it’s easy to get caught up in the weeds of day to day operations. Raineri teaches us how to build a high performing culture, inspiring and engaging players to give their best. A vital part of his role was to restore faith, idealism and optimism. The emotional side of leadership has to complement the technical understanding of the game. True leadership combines both.
By Chris Roberts, practice director at Accelerating Experience