The Creative Leader - Arsene Wenger

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CREATIVE LEADERSHIP: IN WENGER WE TRUST

What makes a creative leader? Creativity, as an intangible quality, is difficult to describe in fundamental terms. Likewise, leadership is another virtue that cannot be easily qualified as the impacts of true leadership are far-ranging and difficult to measure. Couple these two qualities together and what you get is an exceptionally abstract concept that becomes even more challenging to qualify. However, in Leadership Without Easy Answers, Dr Ronald Heifetz of Harvard University manages to provide an in-depth analysis and description of creative leadership. Heifetz ultimately describes leadership as an activity that mobilises people and guides them towards adaptive change. What I hope to achieve
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Where Arsenal's teams of old were built on a meld of toughness and flair, Arsenal's new focus shifted to technical proficiency through possession football. Despite the derision from football analysts, Wenger stuck to his beliefs and moulded an Arsenal team that approached each game with a view to dominate possession and patiently wear down opponent's defences. Foremost in Wenger's ideology was a flexibility to change - apparent in the shift in tactical philosophy, which he backed up with a stubborn belief in his players and player empowerment. Wenger's actions correlate to what Heifetz considered key to adaptive leadership, by sticking to his beliefs despite fierce opposition, taking ownership and responsibility for his decisions whilst trying his best to gradually ease fans and observers to see the logic behind his choices. Perhaps the best example of Wenger's creative leadership is his direction and policy for Arsenal, which takes into account both Wenger's innate belief and the financial climate that has loomed upon English football in recent years. The generation that succeeded Arsenal's 'Invincibles' were focused on youth development, which culminated in Wenger's 2009 team which fielded an average age of 22 years 238 days - the 2nd youngest team in the history of the English Premier League. Wenger's faith in his young team was largely decried by football analysts, recalling pundit

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