I'm sure it won't have escaped your attention that this week, one of the most historic things happened in English footballing history. A medium sized football club won the greatest domestic league prize of all time, the English Premier League. This is the richest football league in the world. It has the world's best player's, the biggest television rights deals and the wealthiest football chairmen from all over the world. These billionaire's from the worlds wealthy elite are attracted to the big money returns that the Premier League has to offer to the world.
But that is the background. The story is that in spite of all the money. In spite of all the growing cynicism and frustration towards the mega rich, the chairmen, the players and the media; somehow Leicester City managed to conspire to win the Premier League. This is not a one-hit wonder accomplishment. It requires a team to achieve a high level of consistency for ten months playing a total of 38 games. It's long been recognised that any team who wins a league title, is deserving of that title by definition. It's not like a knockout cup competition where there is often some luck involved (an easy draw, lots of home fixtures).
This does not apply to a league win due to the nature of that competition. Every team must play each other home and away. It is a long and grueling season. And this makes it pretty un-ambiguous and non-debateable.
This time last year Leicester were escaping relegation from the Premier League. They spent most of last season routed at the bottom of the table. And then during the Spring of last year they somehow managed to string together seven wins from their last nine games to avoid relegation and manage another season in the Premier League. This in itself is a remarkable feat and one that has been labelled as the best ever escape from relegation from the Premier League in the league's history. And now they have taken that even further by winning the Premier League for the first time ever.
So how does a team of moderate professional football players, managers and back room staff go on to win the Premier League for the first time ever?
This is the point of the dream right here. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It's all very well having a group of extraordinary individuals but if they're not all pulling in the same direction the team will not perform to it's best. And conversely, if you have a team of moderate individuals who, when they get together, can collaborate and operate in a highly effective and efficient way, amazing things can happen. The more they can build on their successes the more successful they can become. This is exactly what has happened at Leicester City over the last 12 months. Add in some well organised leadership, management and back room staff to help the team as both individuals and as part of the team and you can have an environment that fosters collaboration, technical excellence and winning ways. Does this sound like an agile team or a football team?
According to the BBC Sport's reporter, Alistair Magowan's sports report, Leicester City: The science behind their Premier League title, the Leicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri was taken aback with the backroom staff that he inherited. My old friend and NLP mentor, Ken Way has been a big part of Leicester City's success. Ken Way told BBC Sport: "There are tow psychologists at the club. One is me and the other is Claudio. The way he has spoken to the players has been exactly the same as when addressing the media. It's all about focussing on the process not the outcome, and some of the lines he uses leave my jaw on the floor."
This is all about good coaching and our roles as coaches. We focus on the process and we let our clients focus on the outcome. It can take some guts to do this but when we do, we show to the team that we're putting our trust in them. Our faith in their ability and their skill and their motivation to work together in a collaborative way. When it works, it can be magical and a joy to be a part of.
Good coaching is a critical component for each of us. If you're interested in exploring coaching as a vehicle for success for yourself, your team or your organisation then feel free to get in touch using the details below.
Jon Coach "The Agile Coaches Coach"