Gilpin ESD

Executive Recruitment | Belfast | Northern Ireland

Roy Keane – a leader?

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Roy Keane. Two words which will immediately stir a variety of feelings with readers.

His recent television interview in which he didn’t hide his distaste for his old boss and arguably the greatest football manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, may have been left you surprised, shocked or even amused.

Describing Ferguson’s greatest strength as his “ruthlessness” and his greatest weakness as “loyalty” seemed a little strange from Keane who played under the Scot for 12 years.

There’s no doubt Keane was a leader on the pitch. But his criticism of team mates, manager, coaching staff left many questions on whether he was the complete leader.

To be a good Leader you must first be able to lead yourself, and you will not be able to do this without self discipline.

A disciplined leader must possess:

  1. Disciplined Thinking: I know of no leader who would not agree that to be successful you need to use your head. This is an ongoing activity and the most effective leaders are those who are continually taking on mental challenges. These sharpen their brains and maintain creativity.
  2. Disciplined Emotions:  You have two choices when it comes to your emotions. You can master them or let them master you. Therefore you must not let your feelings prevent you from doing things you should do, or drive you to do things you shouldn’t.
  3. Disciplined Actions: What separates winners from losers is the action they take, and it is actions that reflect your degree of discipline.

Successful leaders, in exchange for the work their Staff give, not only reward them with monthly pay cheques, but also opportunities to grow and develop.

There is a saying which says: “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out and meet it”, and this could mean that if you aspire to be a leader then you will need to keep on learning, start taking classes and tackle projects outside your comfort zone.

While there’s no doubt that Roy Keane remains bitter towards his old boss, looking back on his career he does express regret. Putting your hands up and admitting you are wrong is an important trait as a leader.

I’ll let you decide if Roy Keane was the complete leader.

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