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Pop Culture Leadership 1: Solskjaer on Cantona

We don’t have to turn to leadership books for lessons in how great leaders draw out brilliant performances from people. There are examples all around us. So, I’ve picked a couple from sport and film-making that struck me over the past day or two.

The first is from the Manchester United footballer (soccer player to our American friends) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, known as ‘the baby-faced assassin’ for his combination of innocent looks and ruthless ability to score goals. It’s from a Sky TV programme on the 50 greatest foreign players to play in the UK that was on last night:

Great leaders focus the attention on you, not them
“When I was a young player and had first come to Manchester United (the biggest football team in the world) I needed someone to look up to. That was Eric Cantona. We were all in awe of him. Yet he always looked after me. Before a match he would say to me: ‘Today you are going to score when we get out there. No question.’ To a young lad from Norway like me, hearing that from him gave me wings.”

I’ve bolded that last bit because it’s so great.

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