BEING a good leader is not the sole preserve of the entrepreneur. Using recently-retired Sir Alex Ferguson as an example, it is clear from his absence in football that leadership can make a difference in sport, too.
Leadership skills possess a universal template. Leading by example, creating a vision, focusing on the positives and copying an influential figure you look up to, are all prevalent in both domains.
Whether you are Jose Mourinho or Theo Paphitis, the following rules surely apply.
1. Honesty is the best policy
Leaders have to say what they do and do what they say. Do the basics well and don’t hide when things go badly. Give honest and useful feedback to those around you.
2. Look for inspiration – and copy it
Think of someone you consider to be inspirational. Study how they talk and interact with people around them, even the way they walk. Then think of someone uninspiring. Study their behaviour and pin-point the differences. Then copy the first.
3. Create a vision
Create an inspiring vision for the future and communicate it to your colleagues. This will help your team to deliver. Jointly created visions and aims will always be more powerful and likely to work out than anything created by an individual.
4. Lead by example
Always be early for meetings. Make sure you keep discipline and remember, you gain huge credibility when people see you keeping focused on difficult situations.
5. Focus on the positive
Tell people what you want them to do. Don’t waste time ranting about a mistake. When you find yourself falling in to this trap, stop. Re-evaluate the situation and think about how you should address your team to get the best out of them. Explain exactly what you want from them.
6. Know your team
Take time to listen to them. Notice the phrases and words they use and use them in conversations with them, tailoring your delivery to the individual.
There you have it, leadership from a sporting – and yes, business, perspective.