Looking for lessons in brilliant leadership? Just tune into ‘ol big ead’

Looking for lessons in brilliant leadership? Just tune into ‘ol big ead’

With the resurgence of Nottingham Forest over the past few months, visionary owner Evangelos Marinakis spoke about the club becoming a ‘dominant force’ in English football, and has said ‘all things are possible’ - our motto for Jill Dando News. Some 40 years ago, manager Brian Clough said and did just that with the team becoming one of the world’s best teams.

Now, Oli Ballard, Director of Business Leader magazine www.businessleader.co.uk and Patron of Jill Dando News, gives leadership lessons from Clough….

NOW there is nothing wrong with business coaches and leadership trainers. They have a part to play and make a significant difference to many of our captains of industry.

But sometimes it can be a maze, knowing who is the best coach to help you and your business; with so many self-confessed experts coming up in internet search engines.

An easy litmus test can be to never engage with a business coach that hasn’t themselves grown a huge empire. How can they tell you how to do so, if they haven’t ever done so themselves?


Scratching your head already?

Well, an even easier option to learn some leadership skills could be to open YouTube and type in Brian Clough. Anybody who is familiar with him will know why but may also ask why chose him?

For me, there is something completely unique about Brian Clough that nobody has ever quite matched.

Unclubbable, Brian was a sporting leader who didn’t ever indulge in the after-dinner speaker circuit like Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Clive Woodward or Sir Steve Redgrave….; he was always the outsider- the average footballer who won the First Division with Derby County (has never been achieved since) and who turned Nottingham Forest into league champions and double European Cup Winners (quite a staggering feat and never matched since).

He was the man who the FA loved to hate; he was opinionated genius who declared himself a genius even before he had won a trophy (watch the Don Revie interview on YouTube). He seemed to come from nowhere and there has never been an equal since.

He also seems to be have been forgotten by many modern-day football fans, many of whom seem to be caught up in the soulless flashing lights of the Premier League – the antidote to the wholesome, old-fashioned and simpler Brian Clough.

Without wanting to write his history here (you can read it online yourself) he transcended football and offered an uncompromising and old-fashioned approach to leadership that was hypnotic and delivered results.

In the age of Silicon Valley whizz kids and overhyped business leaders; tuning into ‘old big ead’ and watching some of his finer moments may well be a worthwhile way to spend an hour.

No nonsense (he didn’t do corporate bu**&&t, unfiltered and fearless, here are 7 of Brian’s traits you can apply yourself.

• Honesty – he often upset people but they knew where they stood with him

• Integrity – he never compromised his morals to get on in life

• Fear of failure – a fear of poverty drove him on

• Confidence – he had an unwavering belief in his ability that was infectious

• Talent spotting – he unashamedly surrounded himself with talented people

• Purity – he always told his players to do the right thing and be morally right

• Persistence – despite setbacks in his career he never gave up

But most of all he was a winner, with a sense of humour and love for his family.

Oli Ballard is Director and founding Editor of Business Leader magazine www.businessleaderco.uk, Patron of Jill Dando News and Consultant Editor of the Good News Post

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