Three Wealth-Building Lessons From Leicester City
Well done to Leicester City, who last night became Premier League champions for the first time in their history.
Even those among us who pretend to know nothing about football will have some idea that Leicester winning the league is a pretty special achievement.
In a sport (although, let’s face it, it’s as much a business) where money is supposed to rule and the same teams generally win the title year after year, the fact that a side that were just last year facing relegation have now won it…
Well, it is pretty incredible.
In fact, only one player in the side – a rather large man called Robert Huth – has any previous experience of winning the league. For everyone else in the team, it’s a totally new experience.
I’m sure there’ll be much commentary on it in the days to come, but this morning, I thought I’d share a quick note on three things I’ve personally noticed in the Leicester team that I think are good lessons not just for winning a Premier League title, but for creating wealth too…
1. Create a siege mentality
It’s widely considered that Leicester City have won the league because they are a team.
Of course, all football teams are by definition teams. So that statement alone is rather nonsense.
What football commentators really mean when they say Leicester are a ‘team’ is that none of the players are considered more important than another.
Sure you have people like Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez who have had great seasons. But even so, they’re not considered superstars (or at least weren’t until now) like Wayne Rooney or Eden Hazard.
But even then, I don’t think this lack of ego (which is all it is) is the key behind Leicester’s ‘team’ success. I think it’s because they created – some time ago – a kind of siege mentality in their team. They were these plucky underdogs and they were going up against everyone else together.
They were drilled well: even when Vardy broke the record for consecutive goals scored in Premier League games, he still just said it was about getting three points. It’s a cliché, but it helps.
When it comes to creating wealth and being successful in business, I think developing a similar siege mentality helps. It’s you against the world and no matter what others are saying or doing to bring you down, you’re not having any of it. You focus on your own game, on what you can achieve and you drive towards it at full speed.
That’s what Leicester did, and it’s paying off enormously.
2. Have a point to prove
Another interesting observation about Leicester’s success is how many of the team had a point to prove.
Many of the Leicester players could easily be considered second-rate…
People like Danny Simpson, Marc Albrighton and Robert Huth have all been at other teams and not had success. They were essentially ‘dropped’ from their previous clubs, having been considered too old or simply not skilled enough.
And, of course, you’ve got Jamie Vardy, who was playing non-league not long ago and was considered a failure in his attempt to play for a bigger club.
It’s easy to see how a team of players with this shared point to prove can be motivated to achieve what many consider a miracle. One guy with a chip on his shoulder is one thing, but a whole team of people out to show their contemporaries where they can stick it makes for a pretty awesome force.
I argue a lot for ignoring negativity and not letting it get you down. For me, this is one way to use negativity in a positive way. If you have people in your life who suggest you can’t achieve what you want to achieve, then flip it around – use their negativity to inspire you to prove them wrong.
When money gets put into a football club these days, people expect results immediately.
It’s the same with any business.
But it wasn’t always like this. Many regular businesses don’t make money in the first year or so. And when it comes to investing in yourself, you shouldn’t expect everything to start ticking along all dandy by the end of tomorrow.
Having patience may seem like dreary advice, but it’s more important than you can possibly imagine.
In Leicester’s case, it’s ironic that by having patience, they’ve actually accelerated their success.
Indeed, it’s worth remembering that Leicester didn’t just begin their rise last year. Money started coming in to Leicester in 2010, and I remember at the time they had lofty ambitions, hiring the Swedish John Major (Sven Goran Eriksson) as a sign of things to come.
It didn’t pay off at the time and it was only later that they got into the Premier League under a more patient appointment, Nigel Pearson.
And even this time round, the aim was never to win the league, only to reach 40 points and survive. It was the same for their main rivals, Tottenham. They just wanted to compete at the top level, not for the title.
It’s ironic that that the two teams who battled for this season’s title are the two teams who had a long-term plan and were patiently sticking to it. It just so happens that by doing so, they both found greater success far sooner than they expected.
Having the patience to stick to a plan and ride out the ups and downs will always treat you well…
Don’t try to rush yourself to achieve things that require more time. If you take your time and focus on what needs doing now, whilst remaining confident that you’re going in the right direction, chances are you’ll get where you were planning to get much sooner than you would by rushing.
So, there you have it – three things to learn from Leicester City.
And if you’re a Leicester fan reading today…
Well, I hope you’re not too hung over.