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What we believe makes a successful team?

Apr 29, 2016

What we believe makes a successful team?

If seeing Gary Lineker presenting Match of the Day in his underwear isn’t enough of a reason to want Leicester City to win the Premier League then I don’t know what is!

Well that’s what he said he would do if Leicester City won the Premier League and with only 1 game to guarantee a Premier League win, it looks certain that BBC Match of the Day viewers will be treated to a sight only previously seen by his loved ones and former teammates!

Having been tipped for relegation at the start of the season with odds of winning at 5,000-1, Leicester City have gone beyond what many thought they were capable of, including Leicester’s own Gary Lineker.

Escaping Foxes fever is near impossible and since our recruitment company, Optima, is based in Leicester, we thought we’d take the opportunity to reflect on the successes of our team.

All of us at some point in our working lives have worked in a team environment, but what makes one team more successful than another!

1) Identify strengths of your team
Claudio Ranieri soon realised he would not succeed if his team played like every other team in the Premier League. “When I arrived in August I started to look at the videos of all the games from the previous season. I have great admiration for those who build new tactical systems, but I always thought the most important thing a good coach must do is to build the team around the characteristics of his players.”

He focused on what his team were good at…speed and work ethic! An interesting statistic I came across were that teams in the Premier League usually have an average possession of 60% to 65% possession. Leicester City averaged at around 35%! So he focused on the skills his team were good at.

2) Cohesiveness
Playing football cohesively is another tactic that Leicester City are brilliant at. Their structured and organised play leaves little space for the opposition to exploit any weaknesses they may have. You play together and the chances of winning are greater. Aristotle famously said “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.

For a team to function effectively it has to work together. No one person carries the success of a team…it’s all about the team!

3) Leadership
If a team has an effective leader they will have the ability to foster good communication and create collaborative communication. A good leader directs the team so everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. However, there is more to it… an effective leader is friendly and approachable. They show concern for employees and colleagues needs while working to develop relationships.

Following a Saturday match Claudio Ranieri gives his team Sunday off and then light training Monday, followed by a hard training session on Tuesday, followed by total rest on Wednesday. Thursday it’s back to another high impact session. Not that I’m advocating managers give their team days off in the week, but taking a lighter approach to your team can sometimes get the best out of them

4) Value diversity
Successful teams are made up of individuals with varying degrees of experience, background and personalities. It’s no good if all team members have a strength in one particular area. Learning from each other is key to making a team successful and this is only possible when there are varying levels of experience. Leicester as a city has a very diverse and multi-cultural make up which is reflected by the football team.

5) Build a positive atmosphere
An overall team culture that’s open, transparent, positive and future focused. The worst thing a team can have is a blame culture, where everyone is constantly in fear of what will happen if they make a mistake. There is not a living person who has never made a mistake… but the good thing about mistakes is that we learn from them. We learn not to make them again…well most of us do! Having been tipped for relegation at the start of the season the Foxes will no doubt have learnt from a few mistakes along the way!

6) Communication and trust
If a team doesn’t communicate effectively it’s going nowhere! We all depend on team members whether it is directly or indirectly. A great team is one where everyone trusts each other to get things done rather than constantly nagging and thinking your team members won’t get the job done.

So do we think Leicester can win the Premier League on a day devoted to ‘Backing the Blues’? Without a doubt YES!

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