England captain. What type of person would you want to follow?

Currently in my home country, England, we have news bulletins on who is taking over the captaincy of the England football (soccer for my US colleagues) team. This is an iconic position once held by the late, great poster boy of English football, Bobby Moore. Please don’t switch off if football isn’t your thing. Lets look briefly at the two candidates

  Stevie G

Stephen Gerrard is the absolute heartbeat of one of England’s most famous clubs, Liverpool FC. He is an absolute world class star player, who can single handedly win a game. He is a senior figure and one of the most experienced players. He is also an old fashioned ‘hero’ player – he will score the winning goal in the dying seconds, he’ll make the wonder pass etc. That is his strength. On the other hand for him to shine, others have to restrain their games enabling him to be the hero. Others need to cover his position as he spirits off where his instinct takes him. They need to get the ball to him to play with asap. Things need to centre around him. He also has a spiky temperament, showing his passion, which has also resulted in appearing in court charged with assault, although cleared.

Scott Parker

Scott has only recently broken into the England team as a regular having been ignored by the manager in place at the last world cup. Scott is fantastic at helping others to shine. He works hard, puts his body on the line – and quietly leads by example. He notices where spaces exist and fills in for others. He wins the ball and supplies it to others. Despite playing for a team which was relegated last year and lost its premier status, he was voted ‘Footballer of the Year’. Many traditional journalists quaffed at giving an award to somebody in a poor team. This season having moved to a currently more glamorous side he has received numerous plaudits. He is known for being quiet and an ideal model professional. Scott is more likely to save the game for you than win it for you personally, whilst assisting more other colleagues to win it.

This conundrum often exists in organisations – do you take the lead of the genius who can win things themselves or the solid, consistently effective performer that makes the most of others. We do not believe that either personality is better than the other – it comes down to how well they use their strengths and mould themselves to those around them. In this instance Scott Parker has the captaincy because the manager wanted somebody who was ‘respected by their peers’ and ‘ unselfish and puts the group before themselves’.

Whatever your personality it is our belief that if you have those two things then you are well on your way to being the type of person others like to follow.

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