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Britain’s biggest business leaders weigh in on The Euros

Britain’s biggest business leaders weigh in on The Euros

Table of Contents

It’s official. England are finalists for The Euros.


As is our national habit and custom, armchair pundits will be out in force across the country come Sunday as the English battle it out against Italy.

With this in mind, I’ve asked a crop of Britain’s best founders what advice they’d give to Gareth Southgate, in the (hopefully) unlikely event that he would need it.

Anthony Morrow, CEO and co-founder, OpenMoney

“It’s important that teams have a clear strategy, not just for the game, but also for wider ambitions of winning the World Cup. Once that strategy is in place, ALL of the team have to live it, and understand the part they play in it.

To solidify the team, a key leadership group should be established to act as senior figures. This should be made up of experienced or mutually respected players that pull the team through the best and worst times.

Be tough but fair. Backing your players with impunity can have negative effect and introduce complacency. If a player does something bad they need to be called out on it (publicly if necessary) this shows strength as leader and as a team to recognise faults and learn from them.

Most importantly though, as a manager, you should ALWAYS get the first round in, and leave your credit card behind the bar when the team wins.”

Simon Paine, founder from The Rebel Business School

“Firstly, double down on calm. This will create the conditions for insight & creativity to allow players to realise for themselves what they need to do. Secondly, enhance connections between players with a culture of deep listening. And lastly, praise leadership examples regularly - you need a squad of them.”

(Our very own!) Ifty Nasir, founder of Vestd

“Team work makes the dream work! The home nation managers need to keep that in mind. You’ll always have star players but it’s how the whole team works together that can make or break your success.”

“In my experience, respecting everybody for what they bring to the table is the surest means of encouraging good performance. So I’d advise Gareth Southgate to give praise where it’s due and to ensure that everybody knows that their individual achievements are recognised.”

“This builds strength and confidence and gives everybody the determination that they need to achieve (and score) their goals.”

Calvin Benton, founder of Spill

“I’d tell him to have regular team retrospectives to talk honestly about what's working and what's not working. Don't wait until it’s too late to discuss the elephants in the room.”

“He also needs to give (and ask for) constructive feedback in every one-to-one. If people don't get enough constructive feedback, their brains fill the empty space with anxieties and worries. Knowing is far better than not knowing.”

“Finally, all work and no play leads to burnout. Protect the team by giving them regular breaks. Allow them to book significant time off.”

James Cook, founder of SpiderGroup 

“Shared vision and mission. Just like in sport, a business works in the same way.

You wouldn't drive a car without knowing your destination so it's the same for teams.”

“Everyone needs clarity on the end goal. Something to work towards and to be part of. Then it's important to give ownership of specific tasks to individuals. I find in that way everyone takes pride in what the whole team is producing. Regular drop ins with the team to keep in touch with all progress is important too.”

“On top of this team socials are really important for work colleagues to relax together and deepen their relationships.”

Rebecca Newenham, founder of Get Ahead

  “As a leader, communication is key. Your team needs to understand what is going on in the wider context around them. What you expect from them as a team and how you think they can achieve it. Great leaders also enable communication within teams, empowering individuals to take their own responsibility for working with others to achieve success.”

“As a leader, you can inspire and motivate, but ultimately it is individuals who deliver.”

“Honesty is vital, as honesty leads to trust. Teams need to believe their leader is being honest with them – sharing both the good and the bad. Teams don’t perform well when they feel isolated or excluded. Embracing individuals in the team and bringing them on the journey with you is a much more effective leadership approach.”

So there you have it! The nation’s business brains have spoken. Lots of good advice to drive success on the pitch and in the boardroom.

Obviously sometimes, it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s not your team’s time to go home with the cup. 

Should the worst happen and England returns empty handed, Southgate can always comfort himself with the immortal words of football’s greatest sage, Jose Mourinho.

“Look, I’m a coach. I’m not Harry Potter. He is magical, but in reality, there is no magic.”

Wise words Jose, wise words.

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