Dec 15, 2008

I’ve been thinking about Arsenal’s season so far. It’s been a tough season, for sure. The team hasn’t performed as well and as consistently as the fans would like.

Here’s what I think is missing from Arsenal’s current team: match winners. A player (or players) who can make something out of nothing. A player who can produce one moment of magic and win a game for his team when things are tough. A player who steps up and makes things happen.

Manchester United have many players who are capable of that – Ronaldo, Rooney, even Giggs and Scholes. Liverpool have the likes of Torres and Gerrard. Chelsea have Lampard, Drogba, perhaps Deco.

That’s what Arsenal lack. A player with that quality. The technical ability in the team is there, there just isn’t that one magic player who you can count on to make things happen when things get tough.

That’s the essence of leadership, in my opinion. And it’s important in any organization, company or team. No matter what you’re doing, you need leaders. Not managers, but leaders – who take initiative to drive the team forward.

Those leaders, the people who make things happen, can bring the group to a whole new level.

Are you leading?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Forcing Others to Do What They Don’t Want

Nov 14, 2008
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Everyone who watches any sport would have seen or heard stories about players who wanted to move to a new team/club. Players who didn’t want to be on their team anymore, and wanted to leave. This season, in soccer, it was Dimitar Berbatov.

Berbatov’s is actually a great example, because it really demonstrates my point. Before he was sold to Manchester United, he was a negative influence on the Tottenham team. He didn’t want to be there anymore, and it was clear for all to see. It was damaging for the atmosphere of the team, and ultimately very disruptive.

In the end, even though he was arguably one of their most gifted players, it was better to just let him go. Because forcing him to stay where he didn’t want to be would have been even worse – the discontent could spread more easily, it could cause problems with the atmosphere of the team.

And there’s a great lesson in there. More often than not, it’s not worth it to force people to do something they don’t want to do, even if you can. The effects of having discontented, unmotivated people could be worse than not having people at all. It’s better to have a small, focused, motivated group who love what they’re doing, as compared to a large, unmotivated group that doesn’t want to be there.

Forcing people to do what they don’t want to do doesn’t work anymore (if it ever did).

Enhanced by Zemanta

The EPL – The Best League in the World?

Aug 26, 2008
Ruud Van Nistlerooy 20.03.Image via Wikipedia

Whether it’s the best is debatable, but the English Premier League is undoubtedly the biggest league in the world. It has the most fans, the most money involved, etc.

But why? Especially when the English League can be said to lack the flair and individual skill of the Spanish Primera Liga, as well as the tactical discipline of the Serie A.

What the Englihs League has, however, is passion. It’s known to be faster and more intense than any other league. The players are known for always giving their best, and there is (arguably) more passion surrounding the game than in any other country.

Perhaps people don’t truly care about tactics and technique that much? While they do matter, could it be that passion and intensity sells (to the masses) more?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Treating Your Customers Right

Jun 14, 2008

Aaron Ramsey, holding up his new Arsenal shirtAaron Ramsey, the most sought after teenager in England, has signed for Arsenal. He was expected to sign for Manchester United, and to be honest, even I didn’t think Arsenal would get him. But in the end, he chose to come to Arsenal. Why? Because Arsenal treated him well.

Manchester United sent their captain, Gary Neville, to meet Ramsey and his family. Ramsey and his family had apparently wanted to speak to the management about his future, but didn’t get the chance. Arsenal, on the other hand, flew him first class on a private jet to Switzerland to meet Wenger (because Wenger was working there). Wenger talked to him, and answered any questions he and his family had, for over 2 hours, and convinced him that Arsenal was a better fit to his style.

Arsenal might not have won as much as Manchester United, the current champions of the Premier League and Champions League, in recent years. They might not have the fan base or financial strength of Manchester United. I hate to admit this as an Arsenal fan, but on paper, Arsenal may not be considered as good a club as Manchester United.

But they treated Aaron Ramsey better. They talked to him openly, addressed whatever questions he had honestly. And they proved that they were better for him. Arsenal might not be the better club, but they were the better club for him, and that’

There’s a great lesson in customer service here. Treat your customers (both prospective and current) as well as you can, no matter who they are. Talk to them openly and honestly, and listen. Provide what is best for them personally, make it as personalized and unique to them as possible.

Do that – treat your customers right – and they are more likely to come to you.

Are you providing first class service to your customers – are you treating your customers right?

Photo from Arsenal.com

Zemanta Pixie