With U.S. soccer fresh on our minds from the Confederations Cup I wanted to bring to light the leadership situation that major leader soccer team L.A. Galaxy is currently dealing with, and has been dealing with for some time.
Some preliminary information:
- 2005: Landon Donovan arrives (serves as captain)
- 2007: David Beckham arrives (takes over as captain)
- January: Both players played in Europe on loan
- For this upcoming season: Both will be returning to play together again
So what do you do if you’re the manager of the Galaxy and you have 2 players who should be the 1 captain? Well as it turned out, the manager didn’t really have a say in it. It’s now evident that the people representing Beckham made it part of the deal with acquiring him from Real Madrid that he would be the only captain and that’s that. Kind of crooked right?
The return of both players will prove to be an interesting one indeed, given their history together. Donovan was told “let him be the captain; you be the star” by former general manager Alexi Lalas upon the news that Donovan would have to give up his position as captain to the newly acquired Beckham.
The problem: The Galaxy are now dealing with a captain who has seemed to lose passion for playing in the United States after not being able to move to Italy to play with AC Milan. To make matters even worse, the team also has the most successful American soccer star who feels that it is he who deserves to lead the team.
You can see how this might be a problem.
Now that the Galaxy’s situation has been summarized and presented, let’s examine it a little further.
This is a problem dealing with more than just leadership, but also coaching, managing, communicating, and supervising. To have the proper leadership within the team, there must be proper organizational leadership. Leadership skills most often times derive from leadership skills and attributes from higher up in the chain of command.
If proper communication and interpersonal skills had been utilized would this situation have been handled years sooner? I think that the idea of getting internationally renowned soccer star David Beckham blurred the Galaxy’s goals and aspirations. I think that the team’s management lost their sense of what’s right and wrong when the thought of acquiring one of the game’s greatest was presented to them.
In short, effective leadership was NOT being employed. Unethical and immoral decisions were made and the team hurt because of it. This is a perfect example of organizational leadership (or lack there of) backfiring and causing more harm than good.
Let this soccer team and their idea of a leadership development program be an example to all. Stick to what you believe in and what is ethical and right. Don’t dismiss one person for another just because of fame and stardom. Value all the people you work with equally to be successful. Most importantly, don’t lose sight of your vision and goals, they are your best friends and will help you succeed more than anyone else.
Briana Scurry, goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s soccer team, stated that “a champion is someone who does not settle for that day’s practice, that day’s competition, that day’s performance. They are always striving to be better. They don’t live in the past.”
Guest Post by Adam, Not Your Ordinary Intern