Leading By Example – Recap

BEING a good leader is not the sole preserve of the entrepreneur. Leadership is also highly valued in sport and there is no better example of this than these points once raised in an edition of football’s top-rated magazine Four-Four-Two.

In it there is a six-step guide to being a leader, from sports psychologist Richard Nugent. Just how closely related to the Naked Leader ethos it is proves that world class 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 included. Here’s a synopsis of each point raised. And yes, it could well be Naked Leader founder David Taylor talking!

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 perspective. Sound familiar?


  • Marcus Adams

    All of these are excellent examples of leadership and prove that business and sport do have a place alongside each other when it comes to managing people and defining the way we work.
    Of course, you can’t, as a leader, be purely judged on results.
    Especially when it comes to football clubs, or any sports organisations.
    Whatever your beliefs, whatever your ethos, whatever your strategy, sport is different. You are more or less reliant on results on the pitch which means you are reliant on the people to get those results.
    You can not be held responsible, as a board of a club when it is down to the players.
    So, essentially, just as in sport it is about players, not management, so it is in business. Get the right people in your team and this will reflect well on you.

  • Harry Peake

    Creating the vision is the key here.
    Visualise something and before long you will be able to make it happen.

  • Maureen

    Making things happen and not just thinking about them is not an easy thing to do.
    It’s the doing, not the thinking, that makes the difference.

  • Ethan Ross

    Management actually counts for a lot. You have to have the skills to manage the players.

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