Klopp Leadership

Why Leadership isn’t complex – but hard

“Coach, how do the upcoming opponents play their standards?” Although we have no idea, we confidently answer any variant that comes to mind. After all, we are trainers, the alpha and omega of it all, we have to maintain our authority and know everything. It is precisely these moments that determine us as trainers (and people) and thus as leaders.

Two things happened at that moment: The assistant coach is next door, who knows that we have no idea about the standards and learns that it’s okay to lie if it suits us. Why shouldn’t we also lie to him, trust looks different … On the other hand, we instinctively and gradually awaken the same feeling in the team. Which statements can I as a player rely on and which not? So telling the truth is much more important than asking about “authoritarian” or “cooperative” leadership style.

“There's only one skill I'm sure every leader needs: courage. The courage to tell the truth and do what you say "

Why lies can kill us …

The reasons for this are as simple as they are obvious. We humans are built to keep our species alive. Thousands of years ago, small lies had a far greater consequence; they threatened our very survival. The clock trainer also had to be able to rely on what his colleagues were telling him, otherwise the result was not defeat, but death. A core element of our evolutionary survival was living together in groups that could trust each other. Because of this, we are intuitively drawn to people who tell us the truth and just as intuitively stay away from those who don’t.

Integrity And How To Achieve It

So what is to be done? The answer is as simple as it is demanding: tell the truth. Or as Gregg Popovich (coach of the San Antonio Spurs and 5-time NBA champion) calls it: “right between the eye’s honesty”.

Training is like everything. Someone does something good, tell him or her that it was good. Somebody messes with saying it was bad and what can be done better. If truth follows truth, one speaks of integrity at some point and is one step further on the way to becoming a better leader. So the answer to a player question is sometimes: “I don’t know”.



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