Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah celebrates after being awarded the golden boot award for most goals scored in the season after the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on May 13, 2018. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club / league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club / league / player publications. / (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS / AFP / Getty Images)
In sports as in professional life, without good leadership, human capital is insignificant.
In all circumstances, leaders must find a way to get the most out of their teams, place the right person in the right place, create the right environment so that each member of the team can provide their full potential.
Very often, in the professional world just as much as in sports or music, a leader, even when surrounded by the best talent, fails to achieve the desired performance. Conversely, we often see a sports company or team achieving amazing results with average skills. An ineffective leader can wipe out talents within a team while an excellent leader can successfully make the most of them by creating them and placing them in the right culture.So what would this environment or culture be for leaders to create to foster high individual and team performance? It is an environment that stimulates individuals in order to improve their performance and that of those around them: It is the quest to be “the best, the strongest, the fastest”.
To create an environment conducive to high performance, a leader must have the ability to feel, measure, analyze, motivate and change. Such leaders have mastered the art of getting their teams out of complacency, acting on the status quo and indifference, and creating a belief system that instills hope and confidence.
Driven by such a leadership style, employees will then be able to carry out the physical, mental and emotional transformation that manifests itself in subtle and sometimes even significant changes in their behavior.
There are many and many examples: let’s take the case of this music student who changes schools and suddenly creates an exceptional musical masterpiece, or this other employee who is dismissed from a company for lack of motivation and results. unacceptable and who turns out to be a talent and “the goose that lays the golden eggs” of another company, or this child who is expelled from a school for his bad grades and emerge elsewhere as a genius, or even this athlete who is let go from one team because he does not live up to expectations on the field to ultimately be a star with the next team.
Such was the case of footballers Riadh Mehrez and Mohamed Salah. Two FA Cup players who were sidelined by their respective coaches for lack of results and who each won the titles of best FA players of the following year.
Mehrez left Le Havre after three years in Ligue 2 where he scored only 6 goals in 58 games, to find himself in a more demanding physical and mental environment; that of the best league in the world, scoring 40 goals in 120 games and winning the title of best player.
Ditto for Mohamed Salah who, after being confronted by Mourinho and practically given to Roma for almost nothing, finds himself, in PFA league with Liverpool, to win a championship, the title of best player and the respect of his football teammates and his supporters.
What has changed in a few months for these two players facing very high competition and high caliber opponents? Have they acquired much more talent to move from the neglected to the first in the class?
Let us admit that these players have acquired experience at the highest level of football and that their techniques have improved, it is their feelings towards themselves, their behaviors towards their teammates as well as their caring for their individual and team tasks and goals that had changed.
Let’s do a quick analysis of Mohamed Salah and his relationship with Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.
With Mourinho at Chelsea, Mohamed Salah was never seen as part of the team. He was a bench player who played mainly in low stakes times; whether the team is winning or losing. This tarnished the player’s confidence. During training sessions, Mourinho almost never spoke to him directly, leaving that to the assistants. And when he spoke to him, it was usually to disparage him in front of the others. José Mourinho was the star coach and in his eyes, Mohamed was clearly not a star. Consequently, the player played exactly in response to the coach’s expectations, not because he could not do better, but because he was full of doubts and did not allow himself to leave his area. comfort in fear of reprisals.
In Liverpool, and under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp, Mohamed has recovered from the hair of the beast. The enthusiasm was back and the spark was found. The real Mohamed came out of his shell, made his own decisions, was encouraged when he made mistakes and the fear disappeared. The environment was positive; even when they lost games. Klopp used many defeats as opportunities to build the psyche of his players, not to destroy it.
Two distinct styles of management and leadership implemented, one is rigid and expects all the players to integrate into a system, a culture, a way of being and behaving, regardless of their specificities and another based on flexibility, sharing, setting small achievable goals and positive reinforcement.
Lotfi Saibi, President GM 4DLH