Following England’s recent World Cup glory, I, along with the rest of the country, have admired the managerial and leadership skills demonstrated by our very own hero in a waistcoat. I believe there is a lot to be learnt from Gareth Southgate’s approach to leadership, which can be interpreted and introduced into our own businesses.

One trait that I believe to be priceless, is to be humble. Being at rock bottom has inspired many heroes, something our Gareth experienced on that fateful day in 1996. To see him comfort the Colombian player who missed his penalty warmed the hearts of the nation, particularly those who have been in that very difficult place themselves (I know I have in a business capacity for sure). Part of being a good business owner is being gracious enough to applaud others successes, but also to not become bashful when you yourself are successful.

When recruiting his team, Gareth could have selected ‘on paper’ the stronger, more experienced players, however he chose to explore an alternative talent pool. His team instead consisted of younger players who were hungry for success and excited at the thought of representing their country in the world’s biggest football tournament. Of course these guys could all play football, although they had something more than that. They had the ‘will’. I have always thought that although a potential candidate must have a proportion of the right skills, you should also hire based on their will, their drive, and their passion. Hire for will then skill!

And finally to build a good team, you as the leader must leave your ego at the front door. It’s no longer about you…it’s all about your team. A good leader should recognise the skills of others and position them in the roles that plays to their strengths. Just like Southgate did. And never underestimate the power of emotional investment!  In growing and emotionally investing in his team, Gareth Southgate is putting himself and them in the best position for the future. The team very obviously wanted to perform not just for their country, but also directly out of respect for him! Is this any different at all to a leader in a business?… I think not. So Mr Southgate, we salute you and the country will look forward to the Euros..

By Michelle Pollard, MD Spider. Fixed Fee Web Recruitment