Citizen Kane – a leader for all seasons. By Steve Ireland

‘Citizen Kane’ burst on to the American and British screens in 1941, winning an Oscar and establishing itself as one of the greatest movies ever made.

Indeed, in polls carried out by both the American and British Film Institutes over half a century, it was hailed as THE greatest film of all time. It was eventually knocked off the top spot in the 2017 poll by Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo.’ – but ‘Citizen Kane’ still came second.

Producer Orson Welles was just 25 when he made the movie.

Step forward our own ‘Citizen Kane’ – Harry Edward Kane, chosen to captain the England football team in the World Cup finals in Russia. Aged 24. The parallels with the classic movie are all too obvious. But will the Spurs striker still be remembered, recalled and revered in decades to come? Let’s hope so.

There was some surprise when Kane was named as captain. Was he inspirational enough, would he be tough enough when players didn’t perform to their potential?

Kane is a top-class striker, but many argue that defenders make better captains. And there were comments that he didn’t shout enough on the field.

But leadership isn’t about shouting at your colleagues. Leadership is much more nuanced.

Clearly, the overall vision (style of play, tactics, having a Plan B if things go wrong) is down to the manager. But the captain is the leader on the field, able to drive that vision forward, inspire his team and lead by example.

Keiran Trippier, Kane’s Spurs and England team-mate, says that Kane is always first at training and last to leave. It’s his actions that demonstrate his captaincy credentials.

And don’t believe any of this “Kane is very quiet” rubbish either. Back to Trippier: “He has a strong voice in the dressing room. His words count.”

Footballers respect Kane because he has worked ferociously hard reach his current status in the game. He was released by Arsenal as a youngster and his first trial at Spurs wasn’t successful.

He joined Watford’s academy, but was given another chance at Spurs.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, with spells out on loan at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester.

Back at Spurs, Kane continued to work hard. He wasn’t the biggest or the quickest, but his work ethic was outstanding. His progress was steady rather that meteoric and eventually signed a long-term contract with Spurs ibn 2015.

Kane is also a grounded individual. He married his childhood sweetheart, doesn’t drink alcohol during the season and plans his meals with a their

Former Spurs’ striker, Clive Allen, who coached him says: “He has a passion for the game, which you can’t say about every young player.

“He loves playing, he loves football and he loves scoring goals.”

As a leader, he inspires by his actions, his work ethic, his determination and his support for those around him.

He doesn’t have to shout and scream, he just sets the example.

Will he go on to match the reputation and standing of ‘Citizen Kane’, the Oscar-winning movie? Who knows, but one thing’s certain, it won’t be for the lack of trying.

  • What qualities do you admire most in a leader? Make a list of the top 5 skills you believe are essential to be an effective leader.

Name your top 5 leaders. They could come from sport, politics, the military or business. And explain why you have chosen them.

The Geeky Group specialises in helping people to reach their potential in their careers or in business. Success doesn’t happen by magic, but in a structured, supported and proven manner.

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Steve Ireland is an award winning TV and radio broadcaster and communications expert who is a valued member of our Associate network.