People - 13.04.2016 - 00:00 

Inspirational leadership in professional football (7)

There are various different leadership styles when it comes to managing employees. One of these is "Inspirational Leadership". In his thesis, Fabio Lenzlinger examined this leadership style, developed a model and applied this to the managerial behaviour of football trainers.

14 April 2016. According to Fabio Lenzlinger, management research has so far neglected the topic of Inspirational Leadership. He therefore decided to tackle this management style in his doctoral thesis. With Inspirational Leadership, managers inspire their employees to pursue a jointly developed vision and ultimately achieve the objectives set.

Football trainers analysed

In his doctoral thesis "Learning Inspiration: examination of high-performance teams in football for the development of an Inspirational Leadership model", Fabio analysed the managerial behaviour of trainers in Switzerland’s top football league, the Raiffeisen Super League. Along with a theoretical base model, Lenzlinger identified nine dimensions that describe the Inspirational Leadership management style. These nine dimensions form the Inspirational Leadership model.

Application of the Inspirational Leadership model

How does the trainer communicate with his players? Can the trainer reach the players on an emotional level? These are two of the nine dimensions. When Fabio Lenzlinger applied his model to individual trainers, it emerged that the factual level had no influence on the inspiration of the players. "It also became clear that trainers with balanced characterisations of the dimensions were better able to inspire the players than trainers with a more one-sided characterisation", says Lenzlinger. "A one-sided characterisation of the dominance dimension even undermines Inspirational Leadership."

Tools and techniques

In his doctoral thesis Fabio Lenzlinger demonstrates that Inspirational Leadership in professional football is actively influenced and shaped by the managerial behaviour of the trainer. "I hope that as many football trainers as possible incorporate the Inspirational Leadership model into their day-to-day management." To this end, Lenzlinger has developed a broad set of tools and techniques for the application and improvement of this style of management.

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