LEADERSHIP | What employers can learn from Gareth Southgate

We may have lost our semi final encounter to Croatia, but there are many positives that have come out of this World Cup.

Where previous superstars such as Beckham, Owen, Gerrard, Rooney and Lampard have failed, a team of young and inexperienced have thrived and exceeded expectations.

Many have placed this success at the feet of Gareth Southgate and his management style.

Rightly so. It may not be coming home this time, but there is great hope for the future.

But what can employers and HR managers learn from Gareth Southgate’s approach?

Here are five things all employers should take note of the importance of:

Teamwork

Throughout the tournament, Gareth Southgate emphasised the importance of working collectively. Rather than rely on displays of individual brilliance, he has worked on producing a team that work together to achieve the same aim and pull together when the going gets tough.

In the workplace, teamwork is vital for any organisation’s success. It improves communication, increases morale, boosts engagement and augments productivity.

Nurturing talent

The approach taken when selecting the squad for the World Cup was a mix of youth and experience.

This is a good tactic to be followed by employers. By nurturing your talent and developing leaders, you can build a successful talent pool within your business. Put more focus on employee training, development, promotion and succession planning and your organisation will reap the rewards.

Image result for gareth southgate commemorating penalty shootout

Diversity

Southgate has mentioned that the team represents modern England with its diversity.

In any organisation, diversity is important because it drives innovation and creativity. When you are recruiting, you want to get as wide a pool of candidates as possible in order to get a talented group of applicants applying for the role. This is why it’s important that you do not restrict who will apply through badly drafting the job advert, for example, be careful using gender-specific terms or using phrases such as ‘recent graduate’ or ‘mature’.

Make sure that all staff involved in the recruitment process are trained so they able to identify their own biases and take steps to minimise them influencing their recruitment decisions.

Respecting opposition

The image of Gareth Southgate comforting a Colombian player who had missed his penalty captured the nation’s heart. Although we all work to win and get the best possible results, there is no reason to disrespect competitors or put them down. There is more to be gained by actually learning from them.

Image result for gareth southgate commemorating penalty shootout

Making the big calls

Many questioned whether he should have included Wilshere, Bertrand and Hart in the squad, but he stuck to his guns and opted to go for a team he thought could deliver. The risk paid off, but it could have gone awry.

Managers need to make the tough calls and deal with the consequences of their decisions. If things do well, celebrate the team success but if things get pear-shaped, you need to step up and take responsibility for the failure.

Keep productivity up after a loss

Things don’t always go your way. In times like this, you need to get up, dust yourself off and carry on.

The role of your managers comes to the fore. There is no time to lament and rue lost chances. Managers need to maintain a positive attitude, learn from past mistakes and take active steps to motivate and boost morale in the workplace.

Image result for gareth southgate

Comment

Sue Willcock, Business Change Manager at Ellis Whittam and Author of “Help, I’m a Manager” says:

“He is a leader whose people-centred skills have got hard results.  For any business owner doubting the power of empathy, compassion and leading from the heart to create a high performing team, Southgate is a role model to watch.”

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