“Did you cry when you heard the news, Kevin?” the teenager enquired.
To his delight, I answered in the affirmative triggering a cackle of barely audible sniggers in a car full of teenagers!
“I was doing ok until he said not to worry about him. At that stage, the tears started to roll down my cheeks,” I informed the amused audience.
In 2016, through a series of bizarre circumstances, I keynoted in Mountain View, California for a Chinese client. Liverpool FC was doing their pre-season training in Stanford University that week.
After some serious negotiations with the brilliant Liverpool admin team, we were allowed to watch Liverpool train and subsequently got pictures with most of the team, and of course the man himself, Jurgen.
After the training session, the team posed for photos as they made their way onto the bus. Jurgen was the last one on the bus – my guess was he spoke to every fan that was there – a crowd of around 100/150 people.
Fast forward to last Friday – Jurgen has truly “delivered what he said” and rebuilt a squad that will compete for the next decade.
But none of that mattered to me. My concern was for his health. It felt like someone very close to you had received “bad news” and it hurt. I hope and pray I am wrong.
But why put this up on your business blog Kevin?
Because Jurgen Klopp is probably one of the few Leaders in the world that I look to as a total role model. The definitive “ Exceptional Communicator.” In a world where companies find it a challenge to retain and engage employees, JK doesn’t appear to have such issues.
Authentic – Engaging – Empowering – Trustworthy – Converted “Doubters into Believers” – Makes every player and member of the backroom staff from the kitchen porter to the bus man, feel like they matter and have a role to play – Visionary – Humble – The Normal one
The list is endless.
Will you cry if your Leader leaves?
Here’s to a healthy and happy Jurgen Klopp 2.0. And massive gratitude for the amazing nine years.