In a period of time where we’re all searching for true leadership figures, Gareth Southgate and his England team have lead the way over the past few weeks. England’s journey in Euro 2020 ended in defeat to Italy, but from that defeat has risen a group of players and a manager that we should all be looking to for inspiration in ourselves and our businesses.
What Gareth Southgate and his team have achieved is amazing, even if it doesn’t feel so right now, and there are lots to learn from the last few weeks.
A leader in Gareth Southgate
Humble. Calm. Measured. Just three of many ways to describe how Gareth conducts himself. When you watch a press conference you can see in his answers to questions from journalists that he has lived and breathed every moment up to a game and afterwards. No flashy answers. No bad attitude. No ego. Just a hard-working guy who loves his job.
That work ethic, that calmness, that humble attitude is what has permeated through the England time. How long has it been since the public has been so behind an England team like this? I have never seen such love and support for every single player. There has been no antics from any of the players during the tournament. They have kept their focus. Their eyes on the job at hand. That has stemmed from the leadership Gareth Southgate has imprinted on the team. We cannot have said the same about Fabio Capello, Steve McClaren or others gone by.
I remember when he was first appointed. England, instead of going for the biggest of big names and the stardust, they went for an ex-player with an unremarkable managerial history. Even I had my doubts when he was chosen. How he has proven everyone wrong. A World Cup semi-final, a Nations League semi-final and now a Euro 2020 final. From where the team was to where it is now, huge strides have been made. England are ranked 4th best in the world right now. The squad has built a bond and strength that seems unbreakable. There is a wealth of talent that gives the team a fantastic chance at trophies for the next ten years. There is real reason to be hopeful and proud as an England fan right now.
Whilst the squad has done the hard work on the pitch and in training, Gareth Southgate as a manager, and a leader, has built the infrastructure around the team that has brought this success. And it’s not just him. It’s the staff throughout the entire England setup which contributes to the performances of the team. When the whole thing is working well, results happen. What I hope is that when the real analysis begins over the next few weeks, once the staff and players have had a well-earned break, attention is also drawn to the way Gareth runs the team. How he interacts with the players. How he supports them and encourages them. Yes there is more to do, and there is certainly more attacking potential to come from the team, but he has been getting great progress from his players over the last few years.
What businesses can learn
Good leadership applies in all walks of life, especially business and certainly fenestration. And one thing that has been noticeable about Gareth Southgate, despite his name being everywhere, is that it’s not about him. Leadership is about leading by example. Not being the centre of attention. It’s about getting the work done. It’s about building the right team and infrastructure around you. It’s not about ego or showmanship. It’s about getting the right results day in, day out.
These past 18 months have been a trying time for all of us because of the pandemic. There has been the health crisis, the economic crisis, and now the raw materials crisis which we’re still trying to navigate through. There has been a real need for leaders to steady the ship for the last year and a half. I have seen some great jobs done. I have seen some less-than-great jobs done. But if our industry, and business, in general, wants to be better in the years to come, I would really look up to Gareth Southgate and his squad at how they have gone about their jobs not only for the last few weeks but for the last few years.
They are proof that focused and relentless hard work and determination produce results. A steady build-up over years to where they are now. There are some valuable lessons to learn from that and the team.
There are many lessons we can take and apply to real life from the last few weeks. What I hope is that those in business, or those perhaps looking to start their own business, look to the leadership of Gareth Southgate, of Harry Kane, of our amazing young stars and replicate that effort. Do the hard work, put in the time, inspire those around you, do it without expecting anything back, build a great team and build a great culture. Whilst we didn’t win last night, I certainly was inspired by the entire team and can say I am proud of every single one of them.
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