Last weekend! An absolute scorcher, the hottest Bank Holiday weekend since records began and like so many others, I made sure that I enjoyed the sunshine, had some time with the family and generally relaxed. Well, generally relaxed, except for the 90 minutes during which my football team, Stoke City, managed to get themselves relegated from the Premiership. They moved from a position of providing hope of survival (false hope as it turned out) to a position where not only did they become the first team to be relegated but also planted themselves firmly at the foot of the table.
This day has been coming for a while and now that relegation is confirmed a few things that many supporters had suspected are being openly discussed. One area that two players have now spoken about is how many players were farmed out overseas on loan in spite of the large transfer fees they had commanded and that the Premier League 25 man squad contained players who were not making a meaningful contribution. One of them declared that 4 or 5 players had been “getting away with murder for a long time” and further added that some were “conning themselves, their teammates and the club.” The Chairman and Board members have also released a fulsome and heartfelt statement in which they noted that:
“we lost some of the core values that have served us so well [and] we need to regain our identity and focus over the summer.”
And there you have it – a perfect illustration of the importance of the three elements of great team-working and performance that we at iTS-Leadership are so passionate about.
We summarise them as ME, US and IT:
- ME – Knowing our own truth and being honest with ourselves as a means to finding greater clarity, sharper focus and more control. The 20% of Stoke’s players who were conning themselves clearly did not know their own truth.
- US – Teams are built on a foundation of trust that comes from credibility, reliability and honesty within a safe and secure environment and is often destroyed by self-interest or ego. If players were “getting away with murder” and “conning their teammates and the club”, trust and selflessness could not truly exist. Self-interest was winning the day.
- IT – Success in execution comes from the traction that is found in clarity, alignment and a unifying culture that is lived by everybody at all times. By losing sight of their core values, and their focus and identity, Stoke City lost the ingredients that had made them a team and had served them so well when facing difficult and challenging times in the past.
If only they had called me!!
Oh well, I suppose I now have the excitement of a promotion push to entertain me. C’mon Stoke!!!
If you are drifting towards relegation or beginning to lose your way, feel free to contact one of us to see what we can do for you. After all, iTS Leadership
Author: Tim Sandiford