Chris has it but Roy doesn’t. Eddie’s definitely got it and is showing Stuart up. Toto’s got big problems with his. Andy has rediscovered the value of it. And Alastair has it but apparently only if you’re in for the long haul – he’s no good for the quick fix version. What am I talking about? Team spirit, leadership and the ability to inspire results in others.
As we consistently hear about ‘broken Britain’ and our divided nation post Brexit, why not take a look at what makes success possible in a sporting context. Maybe Theresa and Andrea – and plenty of others besides – could learn a thing or two.
The old adage is to achieve more together. Be more than the sum of the parts. Better together. Stronger together. We hear it all the time. But what actually goes into the leadership that makes this possible? Into uniting people behind a common purpose?
Wales manager Chris Coleman has a succinct view – ‘dream and don’t be afraid to fail’. His success in galvanising his team so that they over-perform and imbue togetherness has been the stand out coaching achievement of the European Championships. Eddie Jones is more robust. ‘Be better’ is his mantra – applied to individual, to team, and to everything that influences results. Alastair is known for inspiring through example and making people want to play for him.
And so we turn to politics. Is it even fair to do so? I can’t see Leadsom doing a Coleman and ‘making her team give absolutely everything for her’. Nor can I see Theresa May bringing her party together as effectively and forcefully as Eddie Jones has achieved by turning his zeros into heroes.
So that leads to the inevitable conclusion of why we enjoy sport and what it offers – and the answer is a distraction from real life. A context within which character can be shown and great talent deployed but for ultimately inconsequential reasons. Sport is simply a stage on which drama and emotion can be played out.
Back in the real world – but hopefully borrowing from the sporting world – what many of us are saying is that the country needs a figure to inspire, a statesman, and now more than ever. It needs leadership and it needs someone to breathe belief and to banish fear.
So please step forward the politician who can offer that if you’re out there.
Or maybe we can just give the job to Chris Coleman....
Now there’s a man who knows how to get everyone together and get on with the job in hand.
Ben Copithorne is a Director at Camargue