Sir Bobby's leadership lessons

31 July 2009
News of footballing legend Sir Bobby Robson’s death has been greeted with great sadness in the sporting world today. One particular piece of reaction to his passing caught my eye. On the BBC website, Match of the Day anchor Gary Lineker remembers a manager that players wanted to perform for. “He was fiercely loyal to his players and got the best out of them. He trusted them and gave them huge respect. Players had great love for Bobby and he was the sort of guy you wanted to perform for,” Lineker says. Elsewhere, former England and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer says: “It was the way he man-managed players - he had a knack of getting on with them and getting the best out of them.” These are accounts of great leadership in action. Sir Bobby was able to get the most from his teams because they respected and admired him. A similar logic must be applied to leading a procurement team, particularly at a time when everyone needs to pull in the same direction to deliver the right results. Are you ‘fiercely loyal’ to your team of buyers? What can be learnt from Sir Bobby Robson’s leadership style?
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