We continue to mine the rich vein of lessons which sport provides for the business world with Aston Villa’s rapid decline!
Owner Randy Lerner has been described by BBC sport as “distant and disconnected” – conspicuous by his absence from games and leaving the club “rudderless”.
As a result, the club has been through 4 chief execs and 6 managers in 9 years!
While there may be other contributing factors, observers lay the blame pretty firmly at Lerner’s door. And we would agree.
The role of the leader is critical in times of change (club up for sale) and communication is key.
This starts with a need for senior leaders to be visible - making deliberate efforts to engage with managers, teams and partners. To then genuinely listen to concerns and questions. And to enter into dialogue with people and follow up.
And then – and this is the critical bit – you keep doing it.
So many managers end up looking like they are just paying lip service to the relationship with their teams, because they start off in a flurry of good intentions, but then it all fizzles out.
Justin King ex Sainsbury’s chief exec once commented
“When you think you have communicated enough, it is time to start again.”
Sound advice for Lerner and Managers everywhere.
For more lessons from the world of sport see our blogs on the dangers of giving a red card without feedback, cricket’s chance to stop the inappropriate banter and the tennis match-fixing scandal and to see how we can support your managers at every level have a look at our development programmes.
Stella Chandler and I founded Focal Point on a shared belief that a training course run in isolation doesn't work. We passionately believe there must be support both before and after the training or coaching session itself for it to make a difference. When I am not facilitating sessions with clients or looking at ways to grow the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...