I am a Fulham Football Club fan and am writing this having watched my club clinch a place in the premiership play off final which entails them going to Wembley for only the second time ever in my lifetime.
Why am I mentioning this? Well apart from to share my euphoria, it struck me with my communications hat on, how deeply, both personally and collectively the result of a football match impacted people of all ages.
There were supporters from both sides openly weeping for very different reasons. Supporters are invariably supporters of teams for life, regardless of the fortunes of their side and albeit maybe as less frequent visitors through the turnstiles when the performances are dire.
It struck me how the eco system reflected the challenge of a country trying to turn around its economic, social or other prospects. The question is what makes that a success or failure?
It comes down to the intrinsic qualities and motivations of the leaders and how they make those feel around them.
Primarily, of course you need a plan, a good plan that takes account of all the various aspects of the game and how it should be played.
You then need the capacity and talent of the players to deliver that game plan. It is also true that some players work well at one club and then fail at another. I don’t put this simply down to wages, rather that unless they truly believe in the plan, their role within it and the leadership, the result is often failure.
But when they get it right, they all play with a freedom of spirit, a level of confidence and skill that raises their personal games as well. It is there for the supporters to readily see, they know when someone is really enjoying playing, rather than being told what to do.
Supporters talk about a player playing for the badge, whilst this is less true than it was, what is more true than ever is that they play and believe in the leadership and the plan. That is what makes smaller teams able to overcome larger more well-resourced ones on a regular basis.
It is the same with countries. They all need a good plan, an incisive and integrated strategy. They also need the leadership team around it that not only helped to shape that plan but is also committed to delivering that plan, regardless of their own personal motivations.
When countries get that right it spreads like wildfire throughout the country and fills the people with hope and belief for the future.
It can’t be faked, it can’t be bought, it can only be believed and delivered. When it is, it is the most exciting and rewarding place to be, whether you are cheering from the terraces with your heart soaring or watching the shine in the eyes of citizens as they face a brighter future.