After the vuvuzelas have stopped droning and the instant replay returns to settle football disputes, what lessons can we business owners learn from the world’s greatest competition? Small business and soccer are the world’s most popular ways to work and play. What can we learn from playing the game?
If your company was a World Cup team, how would it do in terms of…
- Preparation? The Cup had teams who played well together, like the U.S., and those who didn’t, like England. Is your company focused on a common goal or too busy pursuing individual agendas?
- Coaching? The French team walked out on their coach after he exerted his authority, while Maradona created a cult of leadership around his Argentina team. What would your team do to you when faced with pressure?
- Fans? Is your team like Ghana who united their fan base across tribal Africa or like Brazil who booed them upon their return without the Cup? Do your customers really like you or just pay you because they have to?
- Commentators? Does the media treat your company like first-to-be-eliminated Cameroon (“They’ll be home before the postcards arrive” ) or like the Spanish, who consistently kept a low profile, played ever-so-well and took home the Cup and the world’s respect.
No other sport has a harder invitation to earn, 5 billion people to watch your every move, and relentless pressure to win and capture the hearts and minds of teams and sponsors that have millions to spend on victors and stars. As leaders running businesses in the age of social media, we share many of these same challenges and opportunities.
How would your business do as a World Cup contender?