Lessons from the World Cup (1 through 4)

Lessons we can learn from the World Cup


Lessons from the World Cup #1

“It ain’t over till its over”

Your job isn’t done until the final whistle blows. Keep focused until you cross the finish line. It’s not the effort…….it’s the result that counts.

Lessons from the World Cup #2.

Don’t let the past predict the future.

We all know the definition of insanity. Learn from failure. So try something different, daring, bold. That’s what Costa Rica did to lead their group. Their new strategy was bold, daring and refreshingly different. They move on and others are packing their bags.(Update..Costa Rica continue their historic journey to the Quarter Finals!)

Lessons from the World Cup #3

The Ronaldo Effect

We are all know there is no “I” in team. As we have been watching the exciting soccer played at the World Cup, certain talented individuals create moments of magic. Their off-the-ball antics sometimes are less than magical. (Suarez, a point in case). An inflated sense of self takes over. The leadership key is to remember how to manage the ego with the end result being a total collaboration of the entire team. A super star is created as a conscious outcome of the entire team effort. A leader’s objective should be to raise the level of the team effort rather than focus on one-off mavericks. There are always two or three players involved in the collective passing of the ball assisting the team member who scores. The team picks up the win…not just the individual. Ronadlo, as an example, is a talented super star and should be an inspiration to the team but if the Portuguese team is not up to par and the team effort lacks cohesive strategy they go home……Portugal lost and went home….with Ronaldo.

Lessons from the World Cup #4

Competition is the Catalyst

 At each World Cup we see age old rivalries that create levels of intensity fueling extraordinary performance. First minute goals, last minute goals…we have seen them all. There is a winner and a loser. The loser goes home and the winner gets to play again. We see tears of joy and tears of sorrow. It makes for great viewing.

In business we need a fierce competitor. Disney needs Universal. Burger King needs McDonald’s. Nike needs Reebok. Apple needs Microsoft. Coke needs Pepsi. Adidas needs Puma. England needs Germany. Years ago, when I was a VP at Choice Hotels, we had our competitors, Holiday Inn and HFS. We certainly used the competitive environment to sharpen our skills in all departments across the company. We wanted to win, especially against the competitive set. Playing against a fierce competitor galvanizes a team, a company. It helps us focus. It drives us to be better, faster and more creative. Competition drives passion. If you don’t have an identified competitor I would suggest you find one and start to rally your “troops”. Winning is good for business. However, the ultimate winner is the customer and that’s just fine!