Thursday, November 16, 2023, my national football team is left without a coach. As passionate football fans, and perhaps like any company that has lost its leader, we face a key question: Who is the leader who will guide and inspire our team?
The search for a leader, such as a new coach, gives us the opportunity to think about what makes a leader truly effective.
A leader not only shapes the professional skills of individuals but also their confidence and love for what they do. Understanding individual needs and aspirations can help to elevate their performance and overall satisfaction. This approach unlocks the potential of every team member.
The cohesion of the team is a reflection of the leadership style. Making members feel valued and part of something larger than themselves will allow them to unite, a fundamental action to face challenges and celebrate successes together.
A clear and shared vision is the team’s guide to success. An inspiring vision can motivate the team, with a path that everyone understands and accepts.
Abrupt departures reveal areas for improvement and are opportunities to reflect on what the team needs to move forward and grow. What are the areas for improvement? Who takes advantage of the opportunities for reflection?
We know we don’t have the time or the groundwork prepared for a successor. Perhaps there are knowledge and experiences, but expectations must be clear, and we must ensure that the team is ready to welcome the new leader.
However, it’s important to identify and communicate priorities, to keep the team focused and aligned, with the aim of setting limits and directing team efforts towards more important goals.
Our next leader, whether in sports or not, needs to be a beacon of clarity and a pillar of support. They must be able to maintain calm, provide guidance, and keep the team united, especially when our path forward is unclear.
Crises are the moments that define a leader. Proper management can leave a lasting impression on the team and is a fundamental factor in building trust and respect.
Each player is unique and deserves to be recognized and valued for their contributions. The leader must know how to use their talents in a beneficial way.
Perhaps we had a coach who understood the needs and aspirations, but did he manage to make the players feel part of something bigger? I have my doubts that the vision was clear and shared (an example being the less useful press conferences, where no inspiring messages were delivered, no shortcomings to improve were expressed, nor opportunities for joint reflection). His resignation does speak of respect for the institution he represented.
We have to search for a new leader, one who not only meets the described qualities but also lives them. Who will be the one to guide our team towards a (more) promising future? The answer to these questions (a clear vision, impact on team members, communication of priorities and limits, sharing knowledge and experiences to set expectations, crisis management, and football knowledge in this case) will define the next chapter of our team.”