Playing like champions

Amongst the celebrations of Liverpools win of the premier league, I think a really interesting observation has been missed. Frank Lampard’s home-grown young team beat the might of Pep’s Manchester rich and famous superstars so Liverpool could be champs.

And as I sit here on a Sunday night reflecting on the past week, thinking how to inspire my team this week, wherever that work will happen from, I want them to know that my desire to grow our own, to work with our homegrown talent to continually make them better, will never wane. I will continue to invest in their talents to be best team on the planet. Its been a tough few weeks, where we have to had to let people go, and personally I have not dealt well with any of this. Yes I understand that I have to take a long term view of keeping the business alive, yet we are fundamentally a people business and without those people we are not as strong a force as we once were.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a few conferences this past week, and the messages I took from them were both fascinating and though provoking. We have to make sure we ask the right questions, we have to have the right view point, because nothing looks very good from where we are sitting right now. Yet with the right intentions, the right questioning, the right support to those who are left and still believe – we can rise and grow again.

A few questions I kept hearing and asking myself, and I thought could be useful to you thinking about the next few months:

How can we ensure the emotional well-being of our teams?

I personally prefer this term to mental health. They are not mental and most are healthy – how can I help my people to be stronger and able to deal with the challenges they face – especially the new challenges. How can I allow them to ask the right questions, to challenge the status quo and be equipped to deal with difficult circumstances? How can I make sure they are not just following the crowds and really stand up for something for all the right reasons.

What are we fighting for or more importantly who are we fighting for?

How can we make this team so determined and have a cause to believe and leaders they trust? How can they have the spirit to overcome fear, noise and doubt. How can I convert the doubters to believers?

Do I believe the future is going to be better than the past? 

Yes I do, I believe we will come out of this differently that the way we went in, and we will see the bright blue skies versus dark storms of doom and gloom others want to see and focus on right now. The negative noise of the media, both social and news has done so much to instil fear, doubt and hate in all of us. I want to believe in a better brighter future, one where we can explore again and live a joy filled life. I want to help those that want to rise, I don’t care where they are from, what they have achieved, I want to help those who have the desire and hunger to live a fulfilled life.

This is important. Winners and losers have the same goals – the only difference is, winners continue to do the right things even when things are not always going in their favour and I took a few things from the Liverpool manager’s interviews over the weekend. Its relevant for business as it is for football. Many teams set out to win, with dreams and hopes – yet there is normally only one winner.

  1. The team write the history – not the leader
  2. You have to constantly improve – as those around you will continue to improve.
  3. It’s about commitment, desire and the businesses has to have a big heart and soul
  4. We will never stop getting better. Doesn’t mean we will win everything.
  5. We use our story (history) not be held back by it
  6. If you want the qualities Liverpool had for success, they were character, determination, attitude, more determination, huge amounts of practice, always prepared and confidence – yet never forget humility and I would add a huge dose of gratitude.

2020 will leave every one of us better – none us know just how yet? My book There is NO F in Sales has been helpful to some during this period, and every penny of profit is going to Beam.org (a superb charity to get houseless people off the streets).

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