5th May 2016
Team: A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job or project.
In August 2015, Leicester City were quoted at 5,000/1 to win the Premier League; the kind of odds that none but the hardiest of fans would have taken. What the rest of us didn’t know was that, from the ashes of a nearly disastrous 2014/15 season, a team wholly bigger than the sum of its parts would arise.
Fast forward to the dying embers of this season and, with two games to spare, Leicester City’s name is the toast of the land as they've been crowned champions of the top tier of English football. But how is it possible to go from near relegation to one of the greatest trumps in the history of sport in just a little under a year?
Here are the five reasons behind Leicester City’s success and how you might apply them to your team:
Without a doubt, Leicester City’s biggest attribute is their ability to work as a team. Despite having a number of gifted individuals among the ranks, when things aren’t going their way on the pitch the team work hard, believing that together they are stronger. Ex-Foxes defender Matt Elliot said recently: “The players don't talk about themselves. It's a collective effort.” Great teams, both sporting and otherwise will look to Leicester’s example of the great things that can be achieved when everyone works together. If your team has a shared goal, take a leaf out of the Foxes’ book.
#2 Never giving up
Part of Leicester’s success over the course of the season is the attitude of not knowing when they’re beaten. This drove them on during games when they weren’t at their best. Sometimes, it can feel easier to give up when the going is tough, like a project not going to plan. Of course, it’s not always possible to keep going in the hope that things turn out ok, but this doesn’t mean you have to give up completely. Take a break, take stock of the situation, or come back to it the next day - you may find you have a renewed sense of purpose.
Leicester manager, Claudio Ranieri, famously offered to buy his players pizza if they kept more clean sheets against their opponents. Incentives could easily be introduced into the office to motivate and encourage staff. Of course, it doesn’t have to be dough, cheese and tomato-based - take a look at these to help your staff stay in the zone.
#4 Playing to their strengths
“That’s goal of the season! Jamie Vardy, what a finish!” Remember Vardy’s volley against Liverpool? A classic counter-attacking goal with a sumptuous finish from the striker and a fine example of a team utilising the elements most likely to result in success. Always try to play to the strengths of your team. You wouldn’t ask a social media manager to code your website, or your HR manager to run the underwriting team, so make sure everyone is doing what they’re best at. It’s also worth having regular informal chats with your team to see what other skills they may have. You never know what gems you may unearth.
#5 Celebrating victories together
The video of the Leicester players wildly celebrating their title win has been seen around the world and, whilst it’s entirely up to you how you celebrate, it’s definitely worth doing it together when you do have cause to do so. For example, when you win a sought after client or your new website goes live, everyone has no doubt had a part to play and celebrating as a team is a great way to both keep your employees engaged and show that you appreciate them.
The amazing success of Leicester City demonstrates the strength of the collective spirit. The Foxes didn't have the largest budget or even the best individual players overall, but the power of positive thought, togetherness, hard work and willingness to go that extra mile proves that anything is possible. Dare to dream.