Leadership of any organisation should aim to get the best out of staff. In work, people develop incrementally in reponse to clear, achievable expectations and a range of outside factors (health etc) over which there is little control. There are no shortcuts in creating sustainable improvement in any organisation just plenty of pitfalls.
Last December Gianfranco Zola was brought in to manage Birmingham City because his fame might attract players and take Birmingham City to the riches of the premier league. The decision was a gamble and an attempt to shortcut the club’s development. To say that the gamble failed would be an understatement: relegation beckons.
Zola took over a team of limited players who had worked in a system that allowed them to achieve above themselves. It was not great to watch but we were 7th with a team that included free transfers from the League 1. He immediately scrapped his predecessors blueprint and asked players to play an attractive, passing game that they were not capable of doing. As a leader you cannot ask your staff to adopt a new, more skilled way of working overnight. You have to know your staff and develop a culture that can instil confidence in both individuals and their shared fate. Blues’ players appear to have a little confidence and the club is now gripped by the fear of relegation. Like many charismatic or celebrity leaders, Zola’s stay will be short-lived. His legacy may haunt us for a few years to come.