A great coach believes in the power of the team, rather than relying on individual talent to deliver success.

The value of great team coaching

When I talk with CEOs about their leadership teams they often talk about individuals and their talents. And they aren’t wrong. But they do sometimes miss the other big truth in front of them – the power of the team.

There is a stand out example from Premier League football today, illustrating why focusing on individual talent alone is limiting. Below are the ‘Big 6’ clubs, showing points won since summer 2014 (as of 1st February 2019) and each club’s net spend in the transfer market:

  1. Manchester City                 379                 $745.5m
  2. Tottenham Hotspur          351                  $64.5m
  3. Chelsea                                347                  $448m
  4. Liverpool                             334                 $227.5m
  5. Manchester United           331                  $687m
  6. Arsenal                                331                  $353m


One of them is clearly outperforming all of the others. And I am not talking about trophies.

For relatively little investment (less than 10% of the two Manchester clubs) Tottenham are punching far above their weight. No trophies yet but consistent qualification for the Champions League and regularly finishing above their top 6 rivals. No wonder Manchester United are said to covet head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who has been in charge at Spurs since 2014.

The expectation of many football experts has been that Tottenham will struggle this season given the uncertainty over the new stadium opening date and the fact that the club have spent zero in the last two transfer windows. Yet they sit 3rd in the league and are in pole position to qualify for the last 8 of the Champions League.

The secret? A coach that focuses on coaching for success rather than buying it. A coach that believes in his squad and gives everyone, especially younger players, a chance to prove themselves. And a coach that believes in the power of the team rather than purely the triumph of individual talent to deliver success.

In his own words on the 2nd February: ‘We are there [in the title race] because we deserve to be there. We don’t need to convince ourselves of our capacity, our potential or our possibility to win. We always believe in ourselves. We are there because we believe in ourselves.

Get in touch if you would like to find out how we help leaders like you to build a powerful team. We help teams see themselves accurately and develop a team mindset, behaviours and disciplines, as well as a shared conviction about what they are trying to achieve. The focus is on building underlying trust to lift their performance to a new level.

Simon Court