The boss of one of the region’s leading football clubs gives a candid talk on the challenges of leadership
The first Chamber Medium Members Leadership lunch was held at the home of Sunderland AFC, the Stadium of Light Members heard Jack Ross, the Black Cats manager, share his views on how to be an effective leader with champions of industry.
This event, the first in a series, gave the 70 business guests a unique insight into what was needed to inspire and motivate a successful team.
Jack Ross outlined his own route to success which combined an Economics Degree with extensive experience as a professional footballer, as well as football management in Scotland. He was candid about the challenges of leadership in managing high profile football teams.
He said: “There are a number of parallels between my role at SAFC and business owners running their own companies. We all need to be able to communicate effectively and inspire the people who are helping us to achieve success.
“Just as employers have to make countless business decisions every day and respond to outside influences, I also have to demonstrate confidence in my judgement to make instant decisions, especially during a match.”
Speaking about the pressures of leadership in his world he said: “The numbers around football management are very sobering. In the eight months I’ve been in my job 30 managers have left or been sacked from their jobs across just 92 teams in the four divisions.”
Jack Ross stressed the need to develop the right culture in an organisation to ensure everyone knew they each had an integral part to play in moving towards clearly-defined goals.
Tony Davison, SAFC managing director, also spoke at the lunch and said they were building a sustainable football club which was closely linked to the local community. “We want to deliver a raw, authentic club to the region and make it the heartbeat of the city. The Netflix film Sunderland Til I Die by Fulwell has also helped promote the Club and city around the globe.”
The Chamber’s leadership lunches are sponsored by Gateshead College. Judith Doyle, CBE, principal and chief executive of Gateshead College said: “We’re really proud to be sponsoring the Chamber’s leadership lunches. Strong leadership can have such an impact on an organisation, it certainly has to our college and it can make the difference whether a business flourishes or fails.
“That’s why it’s great to be able to support the Chamber with these events and ensure we continue to have some great leaders in our region.”