‘Being Liverpool’ the leadership challenge – Channel 5

Picture courtesy of Branootah

How unwise remains to be seen, but Liverpool FC have allowed television cameras into the club and behind the scenes for a fly-on-the-wall documentary. The series starts after the club lost the FA Cup Final against Chelsea and follows the introduction of new manager, Brendan Rogers, as he tries to lead a new brand of football to the club.

The great thing about this sort of documentary is that we get to see high profile leadership in action. Brendan arrives with a massive success story behind him in his successful management of Swansea into the Premier League. As such, Brendan is typical of almost everyone that gets a leadership position be it a large PLC or smaller SME – rarely are such appointments made on the back of a history of failure.

So, that leads us to question number one – and one that should vex all leaders in new positions:

Will what got us here also bring us continued success?

For the moment, the question remains unanswered, but for his two predecessors, Kenny Dalglish and Roy Hodgson, it certainly wasn’t the case. At the point of writing, however, Liverpool have had one of the worst starts to their season for a long, long time.

As noted in episode one, all football managers come with their own philosophies – and this is (or certainly should be) true for all people in leadership positions. The problems start when that philosophy becomes restrictive and prevents people from adapting to new and/or changing circumstances. The old adage is that madness is “doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result”.

If you support another football team, you’ll hope Brendan falls for the old adage. If you’re a Liverpool supporter, you’ll hope he has the necessary flexibility.

And if you examine yourself – how flexible are you?


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