England’s reputation as a footballing nation, restored.

Lessons we can all learn from Gareth Southgate and the England team.

As England fans across the nation come to terms with our defeat at the hands of Croatia, we can certainly console ourselves that this England team, and its manager, have restored our faith in our footballing ability, and have restored our reputation as a leading footballing nation.

A scan of the newspapers this morning reveals the most common word as ‘Proud’. We’re proud of this England team and not ashamed to say it. Positive sentiment in abundance.

As reputation managers, what can we learn?

Listening to the various commentators and experts on radio and TV news programmes this morning, there are clear themes. Gareth Southgate is credited with:

developing a clear strategic plan;
exercising it with dedication and consistency;
nurturing an environment where the team is more than the sum of its parts;
and communicating with his team, the fans and the media with a humility and openness rarely seen in English football.

Sounds like a blueprint all leaders should follow in building a credible and positive reputation.

Leaders set the tone. Gareth Southgate has the steely eyes and a quiet dedication of a man on a mission but he could never be described as aggressive. This rubs of, both on the team but also on the fans who have also been a credit to football and to England.

As a leader, Gareth Southgate is credible. He’s experienced success and failure at the top of the game both in league and international football. He’s learned from those successes and failures. He’s also worked in the media. You could say he’s walked the walk and talked the talk.

Altogether, it means we’re all feeling better about England and football.

Reputation restored.