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Leadership from a different perspective – Neil Smith

Naked Leader Week – 172 (w/c Monday 4 September 2006)

Leadership from a different perspective – Neil Smith

I have recently had the great honour to be appointed as a Director of Woking Football Club, having been a fan for twelve years, and actively involved with the team for the last three. The Naked Leader Experience tells the story of that involvement – click here to read that extract.

Last Friday evening we travelled to beautiful Gloucestershire for our sixth game of the season, after an indifferent start (2 draws, 2 defeats, then a win in our most recent game).

We are an ambitious club and having come close to promotion for several seasons, this time we know we can do it. And while we all enjoy last-day must wins, campaigns are won or lost in every game, not least a long Friday evening journey to a club called Forest Green.

We started well, and after 30 minutes were two goals up. 2-0 is a watershed score in any game, with the third goal either killing the game off at 3-0, or opening it up again at 2-1. Just before half-time Forest Green scored that third goal and 2-1 was the half-time score.

The second half started at a frantic pace, and after 15 minutes, 60 minutes of the whole game, Forest Green equalised. From 2-0 up and a win, to 2-2. In that situation, heads go down, the home crowd get behind their team, and the tide is with the team that has scored the last two goals.

And then the leadership happened – we have a captain called Neil Smith, 34 years old, massive experience, playing by his own admission in his final season. As the home team celebrated, and the travelling fans stood in silence, his leadership kicked in:

Nothing complex, no jargon, no theory, he simply walked amongst his team, clapped his hands and shouted several times:

“We go again boys – we go again”

“We go again boys – we go again”…And they did – and with seven minutes remaining, we scored the winning goal, and won the game.

Because they “went again”.

When things turn against us – in our teams, our projects, or in our lives, tell yourself, and help each other, to “go again”.

With love to you all




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