What is talent?
How do you fulfil your potential?
How do you create a winning team?
These three simple questions, which are fundamental to the running of any successful business, take Ben Lyttleton on a fascinating journey to some of the world’s top football clubs to discover the innovative new methods of developing and maximising talent.
Football is the most hot-housed, intense, financially-profitable talent factory on the planet. It’s time we woke up to the lessons it can provide. Elite football clubs across Europe are identifying new ways to measure intangible skills ‘above the shoulder’, such as teamwork, adaptability, decision-making, resilience and creativity. These clubs have revealed how they get an edge. And you can do the same.
Ben Lyttleton speaks to some of the most original thinkers in football, going behind the scenes at Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Liverpool, and the France national team, to pinpoint the skills and methodologies that are not only relevant to football but also the business world.
We all want to have an edge. This is your chance to find one.
‘I devoured this. Lyttleton's journey to the fringes of sporting thought, greedily absorbing innovations as he goes, translates into a pacy, thought-provoking work that reveals just how nuanced sporting – and indeed business – success is in the modern world. The insight into born leaders such as Didier Deschamps, who flex their style rather than their authority, is compelling, as too are the regular reminders of the capacity for old-fashioned qualities such as cohesion and resilience to trump skill and potential. Are enough businesses playing the equivalent of head-up football with their talent and resources? They may start to after reading this.’ – Duncan Craig, Sunday Times
‘A fascinating look at the approaches of some of European football's most impressive clubs – as well as some overachieving underdogs. Lyttleton eschews tired clichés, and instead challenges the consensus to present a fascinating insight into the intricacies of running a modern football club’ – Michael Cox, author of The Mixer
‘The most captivating football book I have read. The detailed insight from the game's biggest names is fascinating and each chapter left me feeling inspired and motivated.’ Dean Jones, Bleacher Report
‘Remarkable access to some of the biggest names in football – a tour of the game’s new thinking, written up with great fluency.’ – Simon Kuper, Contributor, Financial Times
‘Can thoroughly recommend this. The chapter on Thomas Tuchel alone is worth getting it.’ – Raphael Honigstein, Contributor, The Guardian
About the author
Ben Lyttleton is a football writer, broadcaster and director of Soccernomics. He is also the author of Twelve Yards: The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty, and Football School: Where Football Explains the World, a series written to encourage children’s literacy.