Less than a few people believed in Leicester City at the start of the season. Fewer people sincerely believed they would end up in the top ten teams in the end of the season. The football world didn’t give them a chance. But they took the little opportunity they were given. Today, they are the new kings of English football.
Many of us watched Leicester rise from the pole of nothingness to the pedestal of glory. And we are celebrating them. But they didn’t succeed by hoping or mere wishing. They succeeded by sheer consistency, unwavering dedication and unflinching commitment to their duties.
The trio of consistency, dedication and commitment, spiced with tenacity and grit, can do wonders. When employees exude these values in the organization, the organization is certain to achieve all it sets out for the year.
I strongly believe Leicester City will be a Business Case Study in leading business schools all over the world at the end of the season. My favorite HBS would have created a curriculum about them by now.
In Richard & Malcolm Consulting, these are our business lessons from Leicester City’s success:
- Organizations thrive when employees are PROPERLY cared for.
Employee care is a fundamental tenet in every successful organization. If you treat your employees like nothing, they will work like nothing. If you treat them like kings, they will work like kings.
Aside not being paid heavily, Leicester City’s players are properly cared for (recall the Pizza treat after every game). I strongly believe that Ranieri is not just a manager but a leader. He must have connected with the players emotionally and psychologically. He must have known how and when to shout at them and when to pacify them.
Organizational care is instrumental to overwhelming success. And care is NOT always about money.
- Create a Compelling Vision
Your organizational vision must be so big, clear and exciting that your employees will see and believe in it. Also, the vision should align with your employees’ individual purpose. If your employees don’t know why they work with you, chances are they won’t understand why they should give you their all, instead of looking out for themselves with your resources.
Also, you must learn to communicate this organizational vision with utmost clarity. Leicester’s vision is simple: win the title.
I’m sure this simple vision was communicated a million times and so well that it became an organizational mantra.
- Work Ownership is Important.
Every organizational leader must understand that employees need to have the mentality of leaders before they can perform like leaders.
You can’t expect high level productivity of leaders from slaves. You must sell the vision of the organization to your people so well that they can see it, own it and run with it. Employees won’t run with your vision if they don’t see and own it.
The first time I watched Leicester play was against Manchester United (first leg). These guys didn’t play with the old Leicester mentality. They played like winners. And that Vardy’s goal, Amazing!
They owned the title in their mind. And won it.
- Consistent Motivation is very important.
Sometime ago, I saw a video where the Leicester players were being talked to by Buddhist monks. In the video, the monks encouraged them, prayed for them and energized them. This gives the players a sense of spiritual fortification. They believe they have a spiritual covering when they play. And, with this, they can win anyone.
In business organizations, business consultants and leadership coaches are your monks. You need them for employee motivations. When employees are properly trained and motivated, anything is possible and achievable.
- Teamwork is very important
A winning team is a product of bonding and cohesiveness. And Leicester typifies these. Vardy is nothing without the sublime assistance of Mahrez and Okazaki. This duo is also nothing without the indefatigable midfield and strong defence. Everyone understands their role on the pitch. And will not hesitate to cover for anyone that is performing below par.
Your organization must institute the principle of teamwork. And stress on collaboration, communication and connection. Not command and control that breeds conflicts and bickering.
These five features are the greatest touchpoints we believe gave Leicester City the title. Find a way of instituting these into your organization and see how great it will turn out.