I’ve read countless posts since Monday night when Chelsea brilliantly ended Spurs’ title dreams thanks to Eden Hazard’s superb equaliser, which tell us what we can learn from Leicester’s famous title win. It could be how to be a better Claudio Ranieri Leader or how Jamie Vardy’s rise from non-league football teaches us never to give up, however for me the stand out lesson is about people.
The contrast between last year’s champions Chelsea and this year’s champions Leicester couldn’t be greater.
The one thing that’s been noticeable all season is the togetherness of the Leicester squad. The famous ‘no player is bigger than the squad’ saying is certainly not something Leicester have had to worry about. You could start picking out individuals such as Vardy, Mahrez and Kante as players who have stood out this season but at no point have they let that get to their heads. Between those three, they have had countless highlights on Match of the Day and that’s without Morgan, Huth, Drinkwater, etc. yet their feet have remained well and truly on the ground.
Last season everyone was looking at Chelsea’s players, Matic, Terry, Hazard, Costa, etc. and saying there’s no way anyone can get near them in performance or quality. Jump to the start of this season and the difference was huge, a nightmare for any Fantasy Football fan! You could see that they weren’t happy and it significantly affected their performance and confidence.
Claudio Ranieri (legend!) has kept the focus on the next milestone since August. Every team wants to win the league title; that’s why they’re in the league right? Throughout this crazy season, Ranieri has moved the target each time they’ve hit it:
and then, with a few games to go Champions of England.
What that does it builds small, achievable goals that grow confidence throughout the whole club from management to players to staff and last but by no means least, the fans. Every time they hit one of those goals; you could see the joy on the faces of all involved at the club.
At the start of the season, Chelsea had an aim, win the league. Seemed possible based on what happened the season before. When the big aim fell away so early in the season, there was nothing left to fight for. It’s sad when you’re champions one year and then celebrate drawing with Spurs to stop them winning the league 12 months later. Not much changed between the two seasons for Chelsea. However, it turns out, as hard as this is to say, that Jose Mourinho was the problem. Jim Collins in his book Good to Great says:
Leicester prioritised getting the right people on the bus. That didn’t mean going out and spending millions on the best players in the world; it meant choosing people that had and would keep the team at the centre of their decisions and thinking, not solely their own career. Often you hear interviews with players saying I’m just happy for the team that we got the win, however with Leicester, you believe it!
It looked like we had the right people on the bus but if you don’t, it quickly shows. It might have been fun and games last season but this season it was a different story. We, sadly, had a manager who said the right things but you could see he was putting his career and achievements above the achievements of the club. Getting him off the bus dramatically improved the standard of football and Chelsea. Under Guus Hiddink, we went on the longest unbeaten run from the beginning of a managerial spell in Premier League history, 12 matches.
I’m hoping that Ranieri and Leicester keep the focus on getting the right people on the bus and don’t let winning the league get to their heads. It might go down as a one-off, freak season but if more businesses built themselves around having the right people on the bus, there’d be plenty more people who enjoy work.
It doesn’t have to be the football manager that’s the wrong person to have on the bus, we’ve seen it countless times with players and even backroom staff. Prioritise people and anything is possible.
What has this got to do with Brightec? Well simply put, our team are our biggest asset. We prioritise getting the right people on the bus and with the right people, you can achieve even the craziest 5000–1 goals!
We start our week off with a team meeting and bacon (veggie options are available). Why? Because by starting the week focussed on people, whether it be a weekend full of riding motorbikes, gardening or Netflix, everyone feels valued ahead of what the week has in store.
This post was originally written for Brightec by Mike Spence.
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