‘Great Smell of Brut’, leadership and teamwork – Kevin Keegan tells all.

It seems it is not just ageing rockers who have an insight or two on leadership and teamwork (check out my May 18 blog, Start Me Up). Those of us ‘of a certain’ age will remember Kevin Keegan, not just for his endorsement of ‘The Great Smell of Brut’ or his hairstyle – the epitome of the ‘70s coiffurist’s skills – but more for his skills in the world of soccer.

The slightly sad legacy of Brut pales alongside Keegan’s footballing talents, amongst which were winning the Ballon d’Or (twice), the European Cup with Liverpool and the German league with Hamburg.  Last Saturday (6th October) he took part in Radio 4’s Saturday Live telling the tale of his progress from rags to riches.  As well as being funny and engaging Keegan’s story was littered with remarks that, perhaps unsurprisingly, provided helpful reminders on the way that teams and leaders work.  Here is a summary of four of them.

Aside from these nuggets, it is worth listening to Keegan’s views on footballers’ pay, the Academy system and, best of all, the story of Michael Jackson coming into the Fulham dressing room just before the match – “it just killed my team talk” ….there are some things that nothing can prepare you for.


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Coode Associates supports and advises companies on leadership and organisational effectiveness and alignment, identifying Purpose and Values and on culture-shaping more generally. If you’d like to speak with us, we’d love to hear from you: info@coodeasssociates.com.

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