Scotland manager Steve Clarke is giving a masterclass in good leadership – Scotsman comment

What makes a good leader? Is it someone who treats their opponents with contempt while continually boasting of their own achievements? We think not.

When faced with a sea of troubles, do they blame everyone but themselves while offering little to calm the waters? Again, that just seems wrong.

Or do they under-promise and over-deliver? Do they focus on the fundamentals of dedication and hard work while eschewing anything remotely flashy? And when they manage to achieve success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, do they dampen down the fervor of excitement by counselling caution? That's more like it!

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“You don’t qualify with six points,” said Scotland manager Steve Clarke, perhaps as a precaution against anyone feeling the temptation to succumb to Ally's Tartan Army-style optimism – “and we’ll really shake them up when we win the World Cup,” sang Andy Cameron in 1978 – after the truly astonishing and most wonderful 2-0 win over Spain on Tuesday. “All the credit goes to the players,” he added, as if no one had noticed the transformation of the men’s national side under his shrewd, understated and highly effective guidance.

Manchester United and Aberdeen legend Alex Ferguson once wrote a book on leadership. Perhaps Clarke will one day bless us all with his insights too. We can think of more than a few politicians who could learn from his approach, which seems particularly Scottish in its character. Some might say he’s a bit ‘dour’, but look closer and there’s a twinkle in the eye of a true leader who knows he’s doing good work.

Warmest congratulations to Clarke and co, you've given fresh hope to a nation.



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