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Life Lessons from Leicester City's Premier League Title Win

Life Lessons from Leicester City's Premier League Title Win

PHOTO: The Mirror

The football world is almost delirious this morning with the news of the unlikely champions of this year’s Premier League. Perennial underdogs Leicester City have confounded the critics and their fans alike by securing the Premier League title for the first time in the club’s 132-year history. 

Alan Birchenall, a club ambassador with more than 40 years of association with the Foxes, as Leicester City FC are also known, described the incredible outcome with glee: “people say it’s been a fairy tale but if Walt Disney had this script on his desk he’d have thrown it away and said it was too over the top. Claudio Ranieri should be getting a statue in the city and a bloody knighthood for what he’s done.”

National newspaper The Mirror responded to the news by publishing a list of eleven things more unlikely to happen (according to the bookies’ odds as of last August) than Leicester City winning the league (5000/1), which included Simon Cowell becoming the next Prime Minister (500/1), David Cameron replacing Tim Sherwood as Aston Villa Manager (2500/1 - presumably after having been outed as PM by Simon Cowell), Sir Alex Ferguson winning Strictly Come Dancing (1000/1) and Hugh Hefner admitting that he’s a virgin (1000/1). Also included in the list was the chance of Claudio Ranieri becoming the next England manager, at odds of 2000/1 – it’s probably safe to assume that those odds are a little different this morning!

This incredible result for Leicester highlights a number of important life lessons equally applicable to recruitment, business and life in general. 

Never dismiss the underdog

At the beginning of this season, no-one would have predicted that Leicester City would be crowned Premier League champions: starting the season at odds of 5000/1. It just goes to show the importance of not writing off a contender simply because their success seems unlikely: stranger things have happened. 
Like Leicester City winning the League, for example.  

Never forget the importance of teamwork

A team is not a team if it does not work as one – without teamwork, a team is simply a group of people, often pulling in different directions and with different goals. In order to be successful, everyone must be facing the same way and aiming for the same goal – a lack of communication, cooperation and understanding will always act as a dead weight, while a good grasp of these will propel any team to success.

Never underestimate the importance of the right individuals

Everyone has their strengths, just as no-one is without their weaknesses. When building a team, it is paramount that the strengths of some are balanced by those of their teammates, and each can mitigate the weaknesses of the other. At times, having the right individual within a team, and a strong team to support that person, can be the difference between success and failure. 

Trust your team

The people in your team are there because they’re the best people for the job. So trust them to do it, and give them the space and opportunities they need to perform and ultimately succeed. 

Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City’s goalkeeper, paid his manager the greatest compliment he could muster: “[When Ranieri arrived,] he resisted the urge to change everything. That is something a lot of managers want to do, they bring their own people and do everything their own way. He came in the first week, he introduced himself and then didn’t say anything the following week because he just watched us and how we work. He recognised that he had a squad that worked well with each other, got on really well, played well and trained hard.” 

By keeping these four lessons in mind, any team can achieve their own ‘Premier League title’, whether it’s the delivery of a challenging project within budget and deadline, a year of unprecedented profits or finding the perfect new hire.

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