In this four-minute read, you’ll discover what estate agents can learn from the recent England football team’s successes, AND the only time you’ll ever see me write ‘game changer’.
Football has come home.
The curse of THAT song lifted.
The Lionesses have roared louder than any English football team since 1966.
And at the head of the pride of England is a diminutive Dutch lady – Sarina Wiegman.
And Super Sarina has shown not just how to build a winning football team (she’s the first coach ever to win European Football Championships with different teams and in successive tournaments – incredible, plus she led the Dutch women to the 2019 World Cup Final).
She’s also left agency owners some success clues.
Here are five I’ve picked up on.
- Have several plans. Listening to interviews with players involved in the Lionesses’ success, it’s clear how well-planned their strategy and tactics were. The best example of this is they knew what they would do if they went into a match 1-0 down with ten minutes to go. Like they did in the quarter-final against Spain, equalising with five minutes of normal time left and ultimately winning the tie.
- Value the human being. Leah Williamson, the Lionesses’ captain, said that one of the things that make Wiegman special is she puts the human being before the player. This is unusual in football. As a result, her players feel cared for – do you show your team you value, respect and care for them?
- Clarity. Every Euro 2022 winning squad member was clear about what Wiegman perceived their role to be. The starting 11 knew who they were. The squad players were told before the tournament it was unlikely they’d start unless there were injuries or suspensions. So, everyone knew their role and what was expected of them.
- Have a trusted confidant. Wiegman’s been shadowed since 2019 by her assistant coach Arjan Veurink. He’s her right-hand man, and the pair are very close. From my experience, I know how vital it is to have someone you can bounce ideas off, ask for advice and simply have them listen to your concerns, etc. In my case, it’s a business coach, but I know several successful agents who have trusted people in their team and peer groups who they can lean on.
- The vital importance of teamwork. The way Wiegman’s team have played on the pitch is obvious for all to see. But I’ve lost count of the number of times the players in the squad have mentioned how good the support team are. The coaches, conditioning staff, analysts, communication people and medical experts have all played their part. The fact that England had no injuries during the tournament isn’t just down to luck. And with my former public relations and comms hat on, they have had a pitch-perfect PR strategy and execution. Everyone in your agency’s team matters. Your success will be dictated by how motivated, skilled and experienced your team are.
A proper game changer
This article isn’t me being a bandwagon jumper. Let me explain why.
My 10-year-old daughter Charlotte has been football mad for a couple of years.
This led us to buy tickets to all of England’s Euro 2022 matches (and forecasted ones, quarters, semis and final) last year.
And we spent a lot of July travelling up and down the country to every England match and witnessing every minute of every Lioness date with destiny and history.
But the female footballing journey hasn’t always been easy.
Charlotte’s been called a tomboy, teased about why she only wants to play ‘boys’ games’, and even asked if she was transgender (by a spiteful little sh!7e in her class).
And I know she’s not alone, as football-loving girls up and down the country have had similar experiences.
For her to see what’s happened over the past three weeks is, and it’s the only time I’ll use these massively overused words, a ‘game changer’.
Not just for women’s sport.
But for society.
It shows what magic can happen when we give people equal opportunities or, as the Aussies call it, ‘a fair go’.
Be that in sport, the arts, public life, education and business.
The boy who wants to do ballet.
The girl who loves playing football.
The council estate kid who just needs a little extra help to reach their true potential and smash through the ceiling the established system has built.
The person in your agency who would thrive if there was a little more investment in their training and development.
The Lionesses have made my Little Lioness and thousands of other girls (and boys) believe anything and everything is possible.
Thank you to all of them and especially Sarina Wiegman.