Timeless Leadership Lessons from Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel

Everything in life boils down to leadership; We should never underestimate the importance of leadership in anything we do. Whether it is in a corporate organisation or in a country, the importance of good leadership can never be over-emphasized. Trust me, you would be doing yourself a great disservice if you ignore this fact.

As we all make a noise about Chelsea’s UEFA champions league triumph, we must also look at a major lesson from the Chelsea story — leadership.

As a Chelsea faithful ( I guess other Chelsea faithful felt the same way), I was disillusioned with the team’s performance, especially when we thought that the team would get better after reinforcing the squad with new and quality players. My faith in Lampard began to dwindle. Soon, everyone felt the same way and were singing the same chorus. The game was over for Frank. We needed something new; a new fire; a new boss to lead us away from the doldrums of hopelessness to sustainable light. Then came in our knight in Shining armour– Thomas Tuchel. He brought in some dynamism; and of course gave Chelsea faithful a new hope that rekindled a new kind of unbridled optimism which had been absent for quite sometime.

Did he wave some kind of magic wand? Maybe.

But beyond that, he vindicated the age long belief in the importance of good leadership.

One of the leadership skills to pick from Tuchel is his willingness to learn. Not just learning through books, but gaining practical insights from people in other facets of life. According to him, ‘When there is time I talk a lot to people who are in leadership roles and in different roles, and I try to learn every day.

“I talk to unknown persons, teachers of classes, the person who runs the school of my daughters, people who sell stuff. This can be a half-an-hour talk.

“It is not important that you only talk to the biggest names out there in the world. It is about leadership from people and that can include teachers and anybody else who is in responsibility for people and for groups, and there you can get inspired. “I also talk to leaders in sports and the leaders out there of different organisations and sometimes when there is a time, you speak to them and you get influenced. You have your notes and years later you go through your notes and you find some stuff where you feel more comfortable now, because leadership in my experience is a constant change.

“It is also the need to constantly adapt your style to what is needed and to your group, and to change yourself and to develop and to grow.”

The truth is that as a leader you are never too big to learn. You can pick up the most valuable persons from the most simple persons and unlikely places. Always have that in mind.

Tuchel’ s story also tells us that as leader we need to be dynamic and fast thinking. Don’t stick to the old ideas or values you once had especially if they are drawbacks or no longer working. Tuchel had this to say concerning his values: Some values stay with me, and in some methods you constantly change and adapt because that is how I feel my role and I want to be a part of this whole group, and I want to be a part of Chelsea. I want to play my role and I want to lead by example. I feel very good at the moment and hope that we can stay like this.”

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Tuchel as a leader also learnt to develop a good rapport with his prayers — something Frank Lampard lacked. Tuchel continues to highlight the importance of Player- Coach connection as an important element of modernThat can mean that you have to be critical and it is also that we keep a trust of each other that keeps us going’ he explains. ‘Hopefully we can do this together and I feel the same involvement as I do now.

This is clearly the challenge and you need also a little bit of luck with your decisions and with the results because that makes things more easy.’ football. On this, Tuchel said, “that can mean that you have to be critical and it is also that we keep a trust of each other that keeps us going’ he explains. ‘Hopefully we can do this together and I feel the same involvement as I do now. This is clearly the challenge and you need also a little bit of luck with your decisions and with the results because that makes things more easy.’” Good leadership is about having good people skills because as a leader the need to interact on constant basis is not an option but a necessity.

Thomas Tuchel has shown leadership is about being brave, visionary and focused. Taking over a team in shambles and disarray, Tuchel left an indelible mark after over four months with the same resources available. In his over four months reign, the German tactician has defeated: Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola (thrice), Diego Simeone(twice),Zinedine Zidane, Carlo Ancelotti, and Jose Mourinho. It tells you that a good leader shouldn’t be intimated by big names; for no one, team or group is invincible.

Leadership is all about recovering from failure. Chelsea faithful impressed by a brilliant run under Tuchel were just too optimistic that they would clinch the FA cup trophy. But we all know the story and how it ended? They suffered a defeat that they never envisaged. Despite this, Tuchel remained upbeat and unfazed. He went back to his drawing board to restrategize. In a post match conference, the Chelsea gaffer wasn’t afraid to explain the reasons why Chelsea lost and it is obvious he learnt from the defeat. He said: “We are disappointed and not angry with our performance from the boys,” Tuchel said. “I think the performance is enough to win it. I think today we were unlucky and we’ve never hidden that we need to have that to win at this level. You need momentum, decision making, little details, the referee. Despite the failure, he bounced back and was able to prove that his brilliant run was no flash in the pan.

Football is more than a game; it’s life and as fans we can pick valuable lessons from it to help us sail through life. Tuchel is showing us that already in the aspect of leadership.

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