I watched Jurgen Klinsmann create a German team, that no one else wanted by the way, which brought pride to Germany and whose legacy has made Germany a contender in the World Cup. Now the same man has led an American team to what many hoped would happen, but thought was impossible — a win against Ghana. And both times, he was able to achieve stellar results in the face of adversity — people questioning his approach. Even so, he always showed up and delivered.
What is it that great coaches and team leaders (like Tony Parker who was able to lead the French basketball team to a championship) have that the average manager doesn’t?
Could it be that they have a safe zone to fail before it’s time to perform? Practice games, for example, allow coaches to experiment with starters to determine the best combination. And what’s more, they aren’t afraid to fail and realize that they can learn from what others may call a failure.
Could it be that the players really are team players who show up to reach a common goals? These players don’t just give lip service to the saying that there is no “I” in team.
Could it be something about the personality of these people who have values that they are willing to stand by and continue to believe in themselves in spite of criticism?
I don’t know for sure, because I watch the matches as a spectator. But having worked for managers who seemed to have successfully applied these principles to create wins makes me wonder if managers should ask themselves, “What would Jurgen Klinsmann do?”