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  • Writer's pictureMichael Williams

The Championship Race: How Tactics and Leadership Drive Teams (and Businesses) to Success

This weekend's Championship title race is heating up, promising not just brilliant football, but also some valuable lessons for business success. 

Leicester City, Leeds United, and Ipswich Town football teams 2024

This weekend is a big weekend, with a wide-open Championship Title Race. 


If you have ever read one of my blogs before, you will know that I am passionate about sports and business, and where I can bring the two together, I will. 


Well, this blog is no different, and the lead-up to this weekend’s matches has had me thinking about how the all-important differences will be the decider. 


For the teams, the smallest margin, especially at this time in the season, will be the difference between a glorious season or a disappointing one. In other words, success and failure. Leadership and team synergy will be pulled into sharp focus. 

Why This Weekend Matters:

  • A single point separates 1st and 3rd place, with automatic promotion to the Premiership reserved for the top two.


  • Only 4 games remain for both Leeds United (hosting Blackburn Rovers in the lunch-time kick-off) and Ipswich Town (facing Middlesborough) this Saturday.


  • Leeds will be feeling hard done by after being denied what seemed a clear-cut penalty against Sunderland earlier in the week. Drawing 0 – 0, they missed out on 2 points that would have taken them to the top of the table. Enzo Maresca will hope this translates into a gritty performance from his side this weekend.


  • The Tractor Boys of Ipswich Town will be looking to regain their momentum after losing to Norwich City in their local derby and sharing the points in a 0-0 draw with Watford over the last 7 days.


  • Leicester City seems to have the upper hand with 5 games remaining. Although a potentially tricky tie looms, as they have lost twice in recent weeks and their game in hand tonight (Friday) is away to a Plymouth side who seem to have rediscovered some form.  


Each team faces some real challenges, and the tight race underscores the importance of tactics and leadership. A missed penalty here, a tactical shift there – these decisions will make or break a season.

The Winning Formula: Leadership Styles on Display

Just like in the Championship, business success requires a well-rounded approach, focusing on core strengths, data-driven strategy, and a collaborative team spirit.

The league boasts formidable managers, but today we'll delve into the strategies of three top contenders: Leicester City, Leeds United, and Ipswich Town. These teams represent distinct approaches, all of which translate beautifully to a business setting. By understanding and witnessing the effect of each leadership style, we can glean valuable insights to choose the right "tactics" to dominate our own competitive business landscape.

Leicester City (Enzo Maresca): Leading the Pack with Flawless Execution

Leicester City 2024 manager Enzo Maresca

Maresca's approach is akin to a CEO emphasising flawless execution and operational excellence.  He utilises a strong foundation (think Winks and Vardy) while constantly refining tactics (squad rotations) to maximise results.  This translates to a business leader who values strong core processes, data-driven decision making, and a laser focus on efficient execution.

Leeds United (Daniel Farke): Embracing Bold Innovation

Leeds United 2024 manager Daniel Farke

Daniel Farke embodies the bold, data-driven innovator.  He implements a dynamic, attacking style (think high press with analytics) that keeps opponents on their toes.  In business, this translates to a leader who embraces calculated risks, leverages data for strategic decision making, and fosters a culture of continuous improvement and adaptation.

Ipswich Town (Kieran McKenna): Rising to the Challenge through Collaboration

Ipswich Town 2024 manager Kieran McKenna

Kieran McKenna represents the unifying and adaptable leader. He prioritises team spirit and communication (think integrating academy players) to maximise squad potential. In business, this translates to a leader who values open communication, empowers their team, and fosters a collaborative environment where everyone plays a role in success.

The Final Whistle: A Weekend of Tactics and Triumph

It’s fair to say that this is an exciting weekend for football. With distinct leadership styles and tactical approaches on display, it promises to be an interesting display of footballing strategy (and great case study material for more blogs in the future.)

Footballing aside, which approach will you take? Will you be the Maresca, focusing on flawless execution? Or perhaps the Farke, embracing bold innovation? Maybe the McKenna style of collaboration is what your team needs? 

The answer, of course, depends on your specific business and its goals. Whatever your choice, just like in the Championship, remember that the key to success is having a well-defined strategy, a focus on strengths, and a leadership style that empowers your team to reach its full potential.



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