13 February 2020



On the back of being highly commended for my Leadership style, it got me thinking about what is actually the best style of leadership?

 My personal answer would be none, as it depends on the situation you’re dealing with.

I think it is fantastic to give people a chance to express themselves and do things their own way (one of my personal values), but whilst that can work, it can also be a little idealistic.  We’ve all had that one friend that you give an inch and they take a yard, and we’ve probably all had that colleague that abuses flexi-time or the system; so while we would all like to think the best of people, we also have to be prepared for people not meeting standards or expectations and then dealing with that situation. 

Some may say, you may have the wrong person on the bus, or it’s time to part ways, or your recruitment system sucks.  However, many marry the wrong person, some have to work at marriage, so what’s wrong or different with hiring the wrong person because they told you everything they were good at or everything you wanted to hear in an interview; sometimes it just doesn’t work.

This draws me to a game I love (just an arm chair supporter before anyone starts) and a situation where you can’t just drop people instantly as you may have no team left.

Nigel Pearson recently took over at Watford Football Club with some great results turning their season around, or has he (only time will tell, but he got off to a great start)?
It has been noted by some players that Pearson did exactly what was required and put a “rocket up em” (a bit of command and control you might say) and started to set very high standards throughout the club/organisation.  The previous coaches allowed more freedom than Pearson and expected players/colleagues to know what was expected and how the team should work for each other.

As often is, there are many links & similarities between life and sport and as much as we should all believe people are trustworthy and good by nature, human beings can have a tendency to take the point of least resistance and push the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not.  Who’d have thought professionals, getting paid what they do, in the best football league in the world, would need less freedom and, require a ‘rocket up ‘em’ to perform to the best of their abilities? 

Different styles of leadership are required, at different times and with different people
I think the very best individuals in any situation know when to adapt and change, also knowing that learning on your feet and sensing the environment and dynamics around you, ensures continued growth and progress.

A few results have hampered progress at Watford, hampered the belief in what they are trying to achieve as a team maybe and, even Pearson’s own belief in his leadership style could be challenged (I know within my own journey in life and at MPM, there are many times I have wondered  “is what I am doing correct, could I be better” – the answer to could I do better, is always yes, as I can learn from every situation and keep the momentum moving forward).

There is much literature out there around emotional intelligence and leadership, so we all have to look for a blend of what works for us and our teams; whilst continuing to be curious and learn from experiences, peers and the world around us. 

Only time will tell how things go for Watford and Pearson, but one thing is for sure, he can only be himself.