Gareth Southgate on shared responsibility & leadership

With UEFA Euro 2016 now in full swing and the #UEFAPeople campaign well under way, we take a look at this interview with Gareth Southgate, brought to you by our editorial partner Sporting Edge, who reflects on his own experiences of England’s team culture during Euro '96.

What is your team culture like at work? Here are a few tips to help you to take his insights into your own team.

Dealing with expectation – whether you are the England football team or a project team with a pressurised deadline you will need to get comfortable with high levels of expectation. The bottom line is that you can only concentrate on delivering your best performance and the external noise coming from a client’s demands or a packed stadium can become a distraction if you don’t retain your focus. The key is rationally working out what your best game is in terms of behaviours and processes and then making sure that you are insulated from the emotions attached to the outcome. 

The senior leader in the group needs to create a climate of challenge and support where there are high levels of expectation but that each individual feels that they have access to all the resources they need to get the job done. When the senior leader or coach role models these high levels of performance along with selflessness and personal discipline then the motivational climate becomes a positive one. What is expected in your team and do you have the support in place to help everyone to deliver their individual role.  

Below the main boss or coach, social or informal leaders are critical to maintaining the behavioural code of the team. Gareth Southgate mentioned that his Euro 96 team and other successful teams rely on more than just a quality leader. Leadership can be demonstrated at every level through a team and when you encourage every person to take responsibility for their own game it makes a big difference. The senior players or experienced staff then have a critical role to play in shaping and driving the culture of the team, this means pouncing on people, taking shortcuts or compromising the team’s standards. It may be easier to avoid that moment of conflict but in the long run the team’s results will be poorer.

What are your team’s non negotiables and how many of the team actively manage these standards? How does your team create ‘informal’ leaders within it for things like social events, new staff inductions and reviewing projects?

To read the original article from our editorial partner, Sporting Edge, in full, click here.

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Sporting Edge is a high-performance consultancy which solves business challenges using the winning mindset from sport. Having worked with and interviewed many of the world’s leading sports leaders and teams, Sporting Edge has created a game changing digital library of insights to inspire and educate businesses and industry professionals on the requirements needed to achieve success in business through performance.

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