14 June 2021

Immersing new leaders in experiential learning to develop capability and optimise individual performance

Our support for Southampton Football Club sees Leading Edge develop and facilitate delivery of the Influencing Others Module within the club’s Optimise Leadership and Self-Development Programme.

This internal L&D programme is now into its third year, with each cohort of 10 spending 12 months covering different leadership skills. Coach & Player Development Manager Iain Brunnschweiler brought in Leading Edge to support with the module around influencing that underpins the development of desired leadership behaviours and strong capability.

In sport, technical skills development is a given, and this commitment from Southampton FC to promoting high-quality leadership takes this focus on enhancing skills a step further. Through this programme, people new to senior roles are immersed in many leadership experiences to help them establish their own approach and enhance self-management.

About Southampton F.C.

Since the Premier League’s inception in 1992, Southampton FC has competed in 20 of the 27 seasons completed to date. Known as The Saints, the team has played its home games at the 32,000-capacity St Mary’s Stadium since 2001.

Saints Academy has a vision to produce a first team year-on-year made up of 50% Academy graduates who are world class in their technical ability on the field and behaviours off the field. The club is built on sound business principles, with the Academy and development of young players part of that business plan.

Southampton Football Club is proven in its success at turning young potential into excellence: the pathway has produced significant talent through the years, including the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana.

Team Coach Insights

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Patrick Marr

Leading Edge Team Coach

Leading Edge Owner Director Patrick Marr describes working with Saints on this leadership programme. He says:

“The third cohort of new leaders are just beginning their journey on the Optimise Leadership and Self-Development Programme – it’s an exciting time for them and for everyone involved in bringing on the club’s leaders and future senior management.

In his role as Coach & Player Development Manager, Iain drives forward the programme content to match the cohorts’ needs, and it’s motivating to see how he values the immersive and experiential learning style Leading Edge brings to the module around influencing others. For the 2021 cohort, we’ve added a second contact point focusing on having ‘courageous conversations’ to help set up the participants well ahead of the influencing day.

Iain told me: ‘The sessions delivered by the Leading Edge Team Coaches around influencing have become legendary within the club! Participants are always eager to immerse themselves in the practical experience, and the tailored role-play approach really helps and encourages them to try out these new skills in an engaging and beneficial way – all in a supportive environment.’

I’m privileged to work alongside Saints and Iain – and to be part of creating such positive learning and development for people as they step into new leadership roles.”