How Is the Collective Leadership Breaking the Lines in Football and WEB3?

According to NYU | Wagner, collective leadership “describes the processes by which people come together to pursue change. Within these processes, participants jointly envision what the world should be, make sense of their experiences and interactions, and shape their decisions and actions to produce desired results.


“Leadership processes increase capacities for collaboration and provide conditions for group members to feel valued and motivated in contributing to collective goals. Leadership is thus a collective achievement”.


Reading this concept made me think immediately this has a lot in common with web3, football, and, media. Where all of the individuals there are working, pushing to decentralize information and create equal opportunities for people that are looking to create a positive impact on a specific community. Systematically changing organizations, internal/external processes, behaviors, and dynamics across all industries.


The 11 Powers of a Leader


Jorge Valdano was born in Argentina, played two World Cups in the national team (1982 & 1986), Real Madrid’s former striker, coach, and sporting manager. He explains in his book, “Los 11 poderes del líder”, the strengths that assemble a leader, and it relationship between, football, and business organizations. 


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He reflects on the autonomy in sports or business organizations and how they should be structured as flattened networks instead of hierarchical pyramids, using an anecdote from his friend and Brazilian legend, Socrates.


“The best squads that I’ve been part of, had a high percentage of self-management. Making a commitment out of conviction in front of a group creates a much stronger bond than obediently following an order. My best coaches were those who, within guidelines, let me be myself”. 


Personality and vibes are two main topics that Valdano analyzes in his book, mentioning humans and organizations are mostly built based on moments of joy, but also in moments of disgrace or uncertainty. 


Using his complete experience in Real Madrid helped him describe the essential aspects of a healthy corporative culture, from experiencing the strain as a coach of a squad lineup that couldn’t win a European competition in 34 years, to having the pressure of building a team organization to win the Champions League every season as a sporting manager in 2004.


He finds it appropriate for clubs/organizations to create a culture of work that doesn’t impose the methodology like a thunderstorm but instead has to permeate as a fine mist raining over all members and collaborators, following some requisites like: 


  • It should be short and easy to understand.
  • It must be maintained over time as a fundamental part of a culture.
  • It must be attractive like everything that produces pride.
  • It must be based on old stories, be renewed in current contributions, and be open to future spaces for reflection.
  • It must allow contributions from the team, so that everyone feels committed to his project.


Finally, the World Cup champion expressed his concerns about traditional organizations or “teams” that frequently have their talent weakened “due to the harmful effect of bureaucratic, routine and inoperative environments that generate mistrust towards any type of initiative”. He described it as something that even the best player in the world “placed in an inappropriate position, can make a fool of himself”.


Breaking The Lines, Web3, and New Forms of Organized Work


I didn’t know about web3 when I started this journey with Breaking The Lines in 2019.
BTL’s Twitter account had ~20k followers and published less content compared to our current publishing flow. Back then, I remember telling the core group on a call that BTL was like a 4th Division Club. Publishing insightful football content from top-class staff distributed all over the world, but without proper organization and accountability. 

My intention wasn’t to disrespect them, or any 4th Division club. It was quite the opposite because then, I was praising and recognizing the vision and professionalism of each of BTL’s members. Working bootstrapped with the nails to deliver a product that makes the author proud and creates excitement in the reader proves that BTL’s vision is to grow as an editorial hub that can compete among the editorial big companies. 


How Digital Media Is Replicating the “Underdog Effect” Found in Football


Now, it’s been a year since BTL published its first digital magazine platform…
That publication is the perfect case study for a decentralized independent organization. Launching a product, 100% made in-house and fully decentralized, taught everyone how important the power of organizing, nurturing, and building solid relationships in a community that looks forward to achieving a common goal.


Like any team, we still have plenty to improve in our internal/external processes… We experienced the bittersweet taste of having lost fantastic collaborators. They have received offers from other projects to evolve as excellent content creators and looked to pursue better income or more professional rewards. 


However, that doesn’t discourage us from pursuing an internet-native business that’s collectively owned and managed by its members. While we’re all learning and publishing top-quality content daily, the entire team of collaborators is committed to designing a complete football experience instead of just selling a content subscription.



We’re creating a complete football experience instead of just selling a content subscription.
BTL works to evolve from an organized community into a digital media newsroom.

As I’ve written in my previous article: “Football is a sport that closes the gap between societies, speaks a universal language, and creates a strong sense of community and empathy. (…) adding technology to the equation, a spicy ingredient for the complex recipe in spread inclusion, positivity, and better understanding amongst fans.”


Among all the ideas for upcoming products in Breaking The Lines, we are set to release an email newsletter with a BTL curated content experience for new articles, trending reports, promotions, or important announcements. Click this sign-up form if you want to stay in the loop.


By: Juan Castro / @juanffrann

Featured Image: @juanffrann / Getty Images