Andrew McCulloch is an adviser, investor and Non-Executive Director, based in London. 

Entrepreneurial Spirit was created as a creative outlet to share stories and lessons learnt from over a decade in investments and working with entrepreneurs. 

How your business can beat the odds like Leicester City

How your business can beat the odds like Leicester City

I have to admit, I am still in shock…. The David and Goliath story of Leicester City’s season is REAL - and David won!

I was born in Leicester and have been to see the Foxes roughly once a year since the late 90’s, so probably not what you would call a die hard fan. For most, being a fan of your home town club is often a struggle, punctuated by brief and often trivial success. In most measurable ways they are an archetypal David. However, the fact that they have won the title is one even the bookmakers totally discounted as impossible.

It was widely considered at the start of the season that the individual players Leicester had were not the top talent in the league. This shows that despite the relative lowly budget and a team without any “stars”, it is possible to outperform the competition and particularly Goliaths.

Now every other team in the league and around Europe will be looking for answers as to how this has been achieved. Details are starting to emerge and there are many aspects that can be applied to business. The themes are:

  • Leadership - They have a leader who takes ownership of results and takes pressure off individuals 
  • Team - Fantastic team spirit where every member of the team works together
  • Strategy - A clear strategy which plays to the strengths of the individuals
  • Objectives - Not getting distracted by trying to achieve too many different objectives at once
  • Focus - Look at the next opportunity as the only thing that matters and achieve the bets result possible
  • Data - They measure everything and have improved by looking for marginal gains from each individual element

The problem Goliaths have is that despite their huge resources, they lack the ability to change quickly and also take on and develop new ideas. They are often inefficient and waste resources on elements that do not improve the outcomes. In the business world, Goliaths need a David to drive change and growth, as well as to avoid being usurped by a young upstart who can disrupt a traditional business model.

I think we can all learn from what Leicester has done and apply some of these principles to what we do in business.

Pitch perfect?

Pitch perfect?

Panama Papers - Taxing times for entrepreneurs

Panama Papers - Taxing times for entrepreneurs