Thursday, 12 March 2015

Teams take on the characteristics of their leaders

was watching the Champions League football last night between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain with great interest. Although I'm a football fan, it was the interaction between the two teams and their treatment of each other and the referee that caught my eye. Chelsea were harassing and cajoling, they complained in unison at any minor indiscretion, they were up-in-arms at the slightest foul on their player whilst pushing and mouthing off at their opponents. It was a horrible right and a really bad advert for football, Chelsea and the Champions League.

In short, the Chelsea team took on the characteristics and manner of their manager, Jose Mourinho. He is a manager of some repute, although there are mixed feelings in the game about how positive an influence he is. Mourinho speaks after matches and blames opposing players, referees, linesmen, the referrers association, the football association. He really doesn't like losing, but rather than this becoming an obsession to win next time, it turns sour and accusational.

Mourinho himself started on the back room staff of Sir Bobby Robson, who's teams were passionate, good-natured and driven to win by trying their best.

All teams inherit the characteristics of their leaders if they stay together long enough. And I say leaders rather than managers because different teams have different dynamics, so the leaders are not always the managers.

Think about how you want your team to be, if you are a leader. And to determine how your team are, you need to look at how you are. If you display all the characteristics that you desire from your team, and train, mentor and manage your team in that way then it's inevitable that they will turn out in many ways like you.

Is this all good?

I remember back when I was managing when I was younger, I was often paired up with an assistant manager who was older than me, female and a different style if manager to me. This have a balanced management team that did different things well. In your team, you will want people that have the same goals as you and that you can work with but you will also want a mix of skills. Having people that are great at different things is a really good balance to have in any organisation. Getting there can sometimes be a journey. It's a case of fully establishing what you want when you start the recruitment process. For different roles, you will need not only different experience or qualifications but different characters and characteristics. Set out person specifications as well as job requirements when you recruit and you can start to build the team that you want and need to succeed.

Think about it!

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