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An example of great leadership

Over the years there have been great leaders. There have been poor leaders. Some are inspirational. Some are not.

To me one stands out. A man who is admired and adored by not only everyone he has led, but also by millions of others worldwide. And today that man retires from his job of almost nine years.

That man is Jürgen Norbert Klopp, an average footballer, who became manager of Mainz, leading them to the top German division, and Burussia Dortmund where his team won two leagues, a domestic cup, and two German Super Cups.

Then, in October 2015, he joined Liverpool Football Club, a club who had been through hard times after decades of success. Fans were disheartened prior to his arrival, but Jürgen knew immediately what he had to do.

In his first interview on the day he joined the club, he told fans around the world that "we have to change from doubters to believers. Now."

And that he did. Standing on the half way line at Anfield during pre match warm ups staring at the opposition sides warming up must have been an unnerving sight for the visiting teams. And of course after victories the three air punches directed at the fans on the Kop endeared him to fans and players alike. And who can forget him on the open top bus counting out six European Titles on his hands? Fans and players alike trusted him. In Klopp we Trust.

Source: Daily Star

In his time as manager there were highs (including winning seven major trophies) and lows, such as when his leadership continued with many an inspirational word through the lockdown times.

As lockdown started he gave a statement - a statement that he didn't have to write but one that proved what a leader he is.

"Yes, I am the manager of this team and club and therefore carry a leadership responsibility with regards to our future on the pitch. But I think in the present moment, with so many people around our city, the region, the country and the world facing anxiety and uncertainty, it would be entirely wrong to speak about anything other than advising people to follow expert advice and look after themselves and each other.

"The message from the team to our supporters is only about your well-being. Put your health first. Don’t take any risk. Think about the vulnerable in our society and act where possible with compassion for them.

"Please look after yourselves and look out for each other."

He was also not scared of criticising those who did wrong, as he did in the matchday programme the week after his greatest victory: criticising those who broke lockdown rules in the city centre after he won the Premier League for them in summer 2020. Another sign of great leadership.

He cares for people and that too makes him a great leader.

He wrote to those suffering illness or trauma to give them a boost.

He met and offered support to those injured or hurt by footballs wrongs, like Sean Cox and the Hillsborough families.

He turned up in pubs in Liverpool centre unannounced and had drinks with the fans. He is one of us.

In his final press conference before his last game in Anfield this week he showed what the people of Liverpool mean to him when he said "I don't imagine the club will need my help in the future, but if the city needs me, I'm there. I want to be helpful in whatever way."

That sums up the man. To me, the trophies are important, but today of secondary importance. It is the man who gave belief to a community that we celebrate.

For the last year or so his sparkle doesn't quite seem to have been as strong. At times he really hasn't looked well. He has given the club and community his all.

So in January when he announced he would be standing down as one of the Liverpool managerial legends at the end of the season, it wasn't a huge surprise. He showed great leadership again by realising and acting when he knew the time was right.

Source: Liverpool FC

And so to Jürgen Norbert Klopp I say this:

Thank you.

Thank you for making people believe again. For giving them hope.

Thank you for making people happy when times have been tough.

Thank you for the memories.

Thank you for inspiring many people around the world, including me.

Thank you for being a great leader.

Enjoy your retirement. Enjoy doing things you want to do now.

And remember, You’ll Never Walk Alone.

*** If you want to be a leader, KSH Safety Services have a short online train8ng course on Leadership available at


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