Learning from Leicester on Leadership

leicester-city-v-doncaster-rovers-sky-bet-championship-487946415-5728bc783a801Leicester City’s triumph in the Premier League is being hailed as ‘the most unlikely sporting triumph ever’ and ‘a miracle’. On the surface, it appears as though the manager, Claudio Ranieri, is as surprised as anyone at how it turned out. In an interview yesterday he was quizzed on the secret of his success:

Interviewer; ‘what has been the reason for Leicester’s success this season?’

Claudio Ranieri: ‘I don’t know, ummm, to play with the heart and the soul.’

Well, there you go! No grand strategy, no thoughts at the beginning of the season that they might do it, just playing ‘with the heart and the soul,’ it seems can sometimes take you a long way.

And yet, as I have read the accounts of Leicester’s win, there have been important things that have stood out—and which resonate with authentic Christian leadership.

I have written about this on Christian Today, and I make the following seven observations about Ranieri’s habits which resonate with the portrayal of Jesus in the gospels:

  1. Look to the unlikely
  2. Gifting matters more than ego
  3. Build relationships
  4. Have fun
  5. Attend to the needs of individuals, not just the task and the team
  6. Keep the first thing the first thing
  7. Get proper rest

At one level this is just a fun observation. But it is also fascinating when things that clearly work in the wider world have such resonances with Jesus’ approach to leadership in the New Testament, and it is worth making the connections.

You can read the full piece on Christian Today; I will repost here in three days’ time.

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