The subject of leadership has been in the news a lot recently.
A few weeks ago we heard from Chelsea manager Ancelotti about “a word in Italy: trascinatore”. It means the player that pulls the group together. John Terry is a trascinatore at Chelsea, as is Drogba and as is Capello for England.
Churchill was a trascinatore! In his just published biography, Churchill As Warlord, Max Hastings says, “the Dunkirk spirit was not spontaneous. It was created by the rhetoric and bearing of one man, displaying powers that will define political leadership for the rest of time”.
New boys on the block like Obama and Cameron have a long way to go.
In the world of pitching the role of ‘pitch leader’ is often too readily assigned. It goes to the person who is most experienced, who knows the client, who is most senior or, sometimes, most available. Not, as it should, to he or she is who is demonstrably a leader, a trascinatore.
In practice, most groups will not have the luxury of ‘leadership’ choice. They go with the people they have, perhaps competent managers but not natural leaders. However, it is through practice that leadership can be demonstrated -for at least the duration of the pitch!
How? The clues are supplied by Churchill, “the rhetoric and the bearing”.
Whilst no one can emulate the great man, through frequent rehearsal, of both words and manner, they can move from competent manager to dynamic, inspiring leader. As Olivia Mitchell of www.speakingaboutpresenting.com says “the difference between good and great is rehearsal”.
And a leader ‘being great’ will raise perception, and evaluation, of the entire pitch.