Every manager, every executive, every leader has to do it. They have, at some stage, to step back and let their team get on with their job without them. And a quick speech to the team helps to set the tone and the objectives.
The President of the USA had one of those moments last week. The occasion? The White House’s farewell and godspeed for Team USA heading off to the FIFA world Cup in South Africa.
The President met the well-attired team informally, shook hands, and then announced that this was not the moment for a long speech! How those football players must have been relieved.
Mixing humour and sobriety, however, he wished them well : “you are going to be representing all of us.”
He noted that they would be at the centre of a world stage, that all eyes would be on them and that they had enormous support. He observed how the USA was proud of their achievements to date and would be proud whatever happened next.
The best line?
“Somebody in the Oval office is going to be watching ESPN to make sure that things are going ok.”
With President Clinton and Vice-President Biden attending, that’s some send-off. Some fan club.