Do difficult characters make for good sporting leaders?

by | Dec 21, 2015 | News

Cirrus CEO Dr Simon Hayward on BBC Radio 4
The departure of José Mourinho from Chelsea Football Club has been huge news in the past week, as were the rumours that Dylan Hartley could become captain of the England rugby team. Mourinho and Hartley are both controversial characters. They have enjoyed tremendous success in their careers, but how strong are their leadership qualities? Cirrus CEO Dr Simon Hayward was invited to discuss this on BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight on Wednesday 18 December.

Dylan Hartley has a ‘win at all costs’ approach to rugby which has resulted in a disciplinary record that totals 54 weeks of suspensions for a range of offences including gouging, biting and head-butting. As Simon commented, “Hartley is a top quality sportsman. However winning is everything to him. His behaviour suggests that what he values is winning and not how he wins.”

And José Mourinho? “A top quality manager, but his approach has always been more about him than about the players, the team or the club. He is a hero leader – he leads around his own ego. He is the story. This can lead to short-term success but not always to building a legacy so this success can be sustained in the long term.”

As Simon went on to comment, the greatest leaders are more concerned about how they win. They have a sense of purpose and aim to create an environment of trust and long-term confidence for the entire club or organisation. It’s not all about them as individuals.

This theme is further explored by Simon in his first book, Connected Leadership.

If you missed Simon on BBC Radio 4, you can click here to listen again on the BBC website. His interview begins 32 minutes in.

You can also read personal blog posts from Simon at www.simon-hayward.com.

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