Everyone who pops in to The Old Forge and complains about football references is going to like this .... not a lot!
Brendan Rodgers has transformed Liverpool from a side that trailed home in seventh last season into title challengers in just 12 months.
The Reds finished 28 points behind champions Manchester United in 2012/13 but after totally dominating and out-playng their closest rivals 3-0 last Sunday, Rodgers’ men are now a massive 14 points in front of United and currently sit in second place in the table and in a great position to win their first league title for 24 years.
So, how’s he done that and what might those of us in Christian leadership learn from him?
1. Recognise culture change reaches every part of the organization. Football clubs are more than the team who play on Saturday. BR drew on the rich heritage of LFC’s past traditions and breathed new life into them, but with a contemporary edge. Rodgers has transformed Liverpool by preaching a passing style of play to his players, but this is a return to ‘forgotten ways’ aka the Shankly way. His leadership has touched everyone involved, whatever role they have. He likes people!
2. Get the right people on the bus. For example, adding Daniel Sturridge to his squad was a masterstroke as the England striker has been in prolific goalscoring form since arriving at Anfield and has become one half of the deadliest striking partnership in the Premier League alongside Luis Suarez.
3. Innovate. Build on the good, as a bridge to becoming great. Brendan Rogers knew Liverpool were good, but realised we needed to become great again. Signing Philippe Coutinho was another important addition by Rodgers, with the little Brazilian giving the team new creativity. All teams need to develop, change, innovate.
4. Good teams are built on trust. Rodgers handled the delicate situation of last summer’s transfer saga involving Suarez superbly and he is now reaping the benefits, with the Uruguayan in unstoppable form this season.
5. Develop individuals. People thrive as individuals when there’s good leadership, great teamwork and they feel they can contribute in a way which makes a difference. Brendan Rogers has improved a number of players like Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Jon Flanagan.
6. Don’t assume the great things already in place are all there is. Switching Steven Gerrard to a deeper role in midfield has been an instrumental move by Rodgers – allowing the Liverpool captain to dictate games in a new role with his range of passing.
7. Don't be frightened to change what needs to be changed. The manager also got rid of players like Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing who didn’t suit his style of play.
8. Cultivate atmosphere. Rodgers has made Anfield a fortress once again, with only one defeat and a draw spoiling a perfect home record this season.
9. Teams learn more from what they see than what they hear. BR has his players working for each other and they all look like they are enjoying his leadership.
10. Keep your eye on the big picture. Rodgers has the supporters enjoying some of the best football seen at Anfield for many years and has them believing that Liverpool are back where they belong at the top of the league.