For regular followers of my blog, (thanks to you both 😉 ), you'll know I relate a lot of business management & leadership skills with successful sports teams & coaches. (Especially F1 & Football).
Imagine then, my excitement when I heard Channel 4 had got 2 of the brightest brains in modern day sport together to chat about team dynamics and employee motivation.
Gareth Southgate & Toto Wolff.
(Head Coach of the Men's England football team & Mercedes F1 Team Principle respectively).
Not only does it excite me they’re under the age of 50, (more on that later), but the most compelling point of the interview is they know EXACTLY what motivates their talent.
Remember, they are not just talking about their multi-millionaires in Lewis Hamilton & Harry Kane. In fact, it’s the 100’s of back-room staff who help provide the right environment for those in the public eye to do what they do best.
Southgate said “One thing we have to do is provide an environment for them which they believe is world class. If they felt there are shortcuts being taken, or the level of training is not right, or the facilities could be better, then that can demotivate people”.
As a leader in your business, are you providing the best facilities to allow your team to flourish and be the best they can be, or are you applying the same one rule to all? My way or the highway?
Be honest with yourself. If you spot shortcuts, I bet your team saw them months ago, and I bet they talk about them down the pub when you’re not there. Showers not working, wifi is crap, broken chair, not enough stationery, shall I go on? These might seem petty, but too many can easily add up and you will only be able to ride it out for so long.
Quite simply, if you are not providing a world class environment, you can’t expect world class output from the team.
What you might think are the “petty” things can really matter to a 22-year-old graduate, (remember when you employed them in the hope of developing and growing within the business).
Which brings me onto my point of Toto & Gareth’s age. (47 & 48 respectively).
If you’re in the game of laying a solid foundation by employing youth, (and let’s face it, who isn’t), why on earth do you have an out-of-touch CEO/MD leading the way?
It happens all the time. Out-dated views & opinions totally demotivate the team. Yes, use their incredible knowledge & experience, but as Chair or a NED. NOT on the frontline making the decisions about the day to day running of the business.
Wolff said of his team “The ones (employees) who have the right values, respect the organisation behind them and understand the opportunity given to them, they are not difficult to manage. I think it’s very important to build a structure where politics are NOT allowed. We can be politicians externally, trying to get a psychological advantage over our competition, but internally is a no-go”
My own belief is that we ALL go to work with the right intentions & values, but that drains as respect for the leadership/organisation dissipates.
It’ll be the best 19 minutes of your day/lunch/commute if you truly take on board their mutual views.