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Tuesday Insight: Superstars and Superteams!

For those of us who enjoy the World Cup, it’s been a particularly interesting tournament, in which teams with the most celebrated ‘star players’ haven’t been winning many games. Indeed, at the weekend two of the favourites, Portugal (with Ronaldo) and Argentina (with Messi) were both knocked out, in results that will have surprised many, but perhaps not those who had watched their earlier matches. 

Meanwhile, Gareth Southgate’s England team have made a good start, getting England through to the knock out stages for the first time since 2010. They have a tough job this evening against Colombia - a team that can be quick when it matters – but I’m hopeful they’ll do well and, if they win tonight, England will already have performed as well as in 2006. The 6-1 victory over Panama has already set a new record as England’s biggest World Cup win.
There was quite a lot of criticism of Gareth Southgate’s choices when the squad was first announced. He shunned some experienced players, in favour of a younger squad, saying, “If I am asking club managers to be brave and pick young players, then I think I have got to do the same.” He’s worked hard to encourage and develop new talent and, I think, build a spirit of collective responsibility.

What has struck me, watching this team in action, is a sense that they are really working together as a team, particularly in set pieces. Four of the goals against Panama came from these and I was impressed by the on-pitch huddles and discussions about how a free kick, for example, was going to be played. This is a team where, in those set-pieces at least, everyone knows their role and the contribution they will be making - and that teamwork has led to moments of quiet brilliance. 

I’ve also enjoyed watching members of the team take responsibility for their mistakes – holding up a hand in apology for a poor pass, for example, and applauding inspired efforts, even if they didn’t quite come off.

So far, and I hope it’s a trend that continues, this year’s World Cup has proven a useful reminder that whilst it’s nice to have star players, real success comes from great teamwork. Look behind every ‘star player’ in your organisation and you’ll likely find a team of people who share the same goals – who know the part they play in achieving success, are engaged, supportive of each other and are highly motivated. I struggle to think of a single example where a star player has achieved outstanding success without being part of a star team. Can you?

Managers’ Library/LMS Offer Reminder
Of course, you might want to help your managers further, by giving them a licence to use all of the materials in Managers’ Library. As mentioned last week, Tuesday Insight readers can benefit from an extra 10% off a Managers’ Library subscription, or when buying our LMS content, if you commit before 31st July. (That’s 10% on top of any existing discounts you gain by being a Trainers’ Library member.) To find out more, please call Zoe on +44 (0)1434 380016.

P.S., Despite having customers in more than 40 countries, we don’t currently have anyone using our training materials in Portugal or Argentina. Coincidence? You decide. ;-)

July 3 2018Rod Webb

Rod Webb

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