It took 132 years, and at the start of the season the 5,000/1 odds were proof that no one expected it. Now Leicester City has done what every small business, entrepreneur and budding sports star can only dare to dream – they not only beat the doubters, they did it in style with a second chance, should they have needed it, against Everton on Saturday.
It got me thinking about how belief, commitment and plain hard work can overcome adversity in any area of business. It’s not about smooth talking spokesmen or supposedly random acts of kindness, often grouped under the term corporate social responsibility, it’s about focusing on what you do well, and doing it better than ever.
It’s undeniable that having a Jamie Vardy on tap is always handy, but every member of that squad was convinced they belonged at the top of the Premiership and not the bottom as they had the previous year.
It reminds me of stories my granddad used to tell me about Bolton Wanderers star Nat Lofthouse taking the goalkeeper into the back of the net with him when he scored one of his 285 goals during his 14 years at Burnden Park. He wasn’t concerned with image or sponsorship deals, it was pure grit and determination to get the one thing he was being paid for – goals.
Bigger corporate sides and indeed global businesses have a lot to learn from Leicester City – namely that focus, a sense of belonging and old-fashioned hard graft can still get you to the top.