It isn’t enough for someone in a leadership position to get things done. A successful leader must also have good character. By Ronald E. Riggio.
Effective Leadership Requires Authenticity
to Live Long and Prosper
Goffee and Jones describe this as authentic leadership in "Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?", while Ronald Riggio develops this into a clear and concise list of behaviours. The reference to sport set me thinking about a sport closer to my heart than cycling. No laws were broken in what I am about to describe; I continue to admire those involved, even if I do not understand their reasoning or behaviour.
My sport is football - always was and always will be. I refer to the game using the round ball and not the one with all the body armour. I am a life-long fan of Crystal Palace Football Club and though we have often travelled together through the valley of despair, I would rather give up watching the game than ever support another club.
Crystal Palace is on the back of a 12 game unbeaten run. They won 5-0 on Tuesday night to go top of the league. Three weeks ago, their manager resigned and completed a lateral move (in organizational terms) to manage a club struggling at the other end of same league. This manager, an ex-Palace player, has now taken the rest of his management team with him.
Meanwhile, the players at Palace perform their socks off – just as Kimball Fisher’s classic “Leading Self-Directed Work Teams” predicts. The quote before Chapter 19 (on the latter stages of Team Maturity) is by Raymond Gilmartin, the then CEO of Becton Dickinson. He states, “Forget structure invented by the guys at the top. You’ve got to let the task form the organisation.” How apt!
A fan is like an employee, watching the behaviour of its leaders and trying to make sense of it all. Putting all the theory to one side, why does a successful manager, with a long history with a club, just up and leave when he is starting to reap the rewards on the field of play and the plaudits from his peers – he was named manager of the month in October? Is it money, ambition, a fresh challenge or a rift behind the scenes? Tweets and Blogs fill the void with rumour, speculation and, in some cases, vitriol. But when I read Ronald’s list again, I realise that any harsh words are inappropriate. The departed management team ticked all the behaviours on his list.
And now we are happy. The club have appointed one of the best managers in the league, with a reputation for winning promotion and at least for tonight, we are out-performing the competition. Just as in business, it could all be different tomorrow, but at least for the day we will enjoy the ride… and wish the new management team at Bolton Wanderers our very best in every game they play, except one (of course).