5 things you can learn from the FIFA World Cup 2018

  • 04 Jul 2018
  • Business
5 things you can learn from the FIFA World Cup 2018 Image

With more twists and turns than Lionel Messi on a mazy run, there are plenty businesses can learn from the World Cup itself and all of the players participating.

In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the best moments of the tournament so far. And while we have you here, do take some time to check out World Cup-themed quiz. Are you a Messi or Ronaldo? Let us know on our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts

#1 – You always need a good team around you

The G.O.A.T.s are out. Don’t know who we’re talking about? Of course, we’re talking about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - two of the greatest players to have ever graced the game! And they’re both on their way home after being dumped out of the tournament unceremoniously.

So much was said prior to the World Cup about their chances to win. Ronaldo, the Portuguese superstar, carried his team to European glory two years ago; in the Euro 2016 final. Messi so far hasn’t been able to inspire his team to success with a litany of runners-up medals in his international silverware cabinet.

And this latest setback, and quite possibly, their last on the global stage, illustrates clearly that you can’t do anything if you don’t have a good team around you.

Even if you’re the best at what you do, surround yourself with people that challenge what you say, what you do and what you produce - only then will you be able to reach the pinnacle of your career.

#2 – Nobody likes a show-off

You’re 1-0 down and it’s the 90th minute. You’ve managed to win a throw-in deep into your opponent’s territory. You limber up for a long throw and decide to do a somersault throw-in, and fail, miserably.

Iran v Portugal was host to one of the more bizarre moments of the World Cup, where Milad Modammadi made headlines for all the wrong reasons by attempting and failing, a somersault throw-in.

Nobody likes a show-off at work, and especially one that can’t follow through. So, if you are going to show-off for some reason, whether you’ve had a decent quarterly review, or sealed the deal with a major supplier; make sure you can back it up like this sublime touch from Neymar.

#3 – Like football, business is results-based

Germany, world champions, and all-round awesome team got knocked out of the tournament in the group stages after registering just one point.

In the run-up to the tournament, Germany was talked as one of the favorites to win the coveted trophy - joining Italy and Brazil as the only nations to successfully defend the World Cup.

Unfortunately, for Germany, this didn’t happen.

And to be honest, their campaign was a bit of a catastrophe for their exceptional standards. What it clearly demonstrated is that reputation means absolutely nothing. If your performance isn’t up to scratch, the results won’t go your way.

It’s the same in business. Results based management (RBM), a management strategy for business focuses on all people and actors who contribute directly or indirectly to the desired business goal. It works like this:

  1. Assess: What is the current situation?
  2. Think: What caused it? Who is involved?
  3. Envision: What are we going to achieve?
  4. Plan: How are we going to do it? With whom? When? With what resources?
  5. Do: Get it done. How is it going? Do we need to adapt?
  6. Review: What went well/badly? What can we learn for next time?

Perhaps Germany would have been better off doing some sort of review of their recent results before the tournament to devise a strategy to successfully navigate their group?

#4 – You always need a plan B

Spain is one of the most talented sides in the world. Blessed with unbelievable technical skill, talent and physicality, the Iberian powerhouses dominated football at the start of the decade.

Taking inspiration from Pep Guardiola, Barcelona and its famous brand of Tiki-Taka, the Spanish national embraced the possession-based tactic; getting the best out of a generation of technically talented players.

Unfortunately, in the last 16 of this World Cup, Spain have yet again been undone, this time by Russia, the host nation - and an admirable defensive display.

Critics picked apart the Spanish performance, and some have argued that teams have ‘found out’ Tiki-Taka. In addition, pundits have suggested that Spain doesn’t have a plan b if games aren’t going their way.

This is a critical failure for the Spaniards, and in business, you need to have a plan b just in case you need to take a different approach. In any project management task, you should appoint an additional time to ensure you can deliver projects on-time and the satisfaction of your stakeholders.

#5 – Never stop believing

It wouldn’t be a World Cup blog post without a mention of the England football team. On the 3rd of July 2018, the Three Lions cast aside all aspersions of their spot-kick skills by finally winning a penalty shootout!

After 120 minutes failed to separate the teams, some dodgy refereeing, and a provocative Colombian side, Eric Dier slotted home a beautifully placed penalty to seal the home nation’s place in the last eight.

England has a terrible record when it comes to penalties, with the win at Moscow their first-ever recorded at a World Cup knockout stage. And it has all been testament to the work England manager Gareth Southgate has put into preparing his players mentally for the prospect of penalties.

While England hasn’t won the World Cup, they’ve certainly got rid of that penalty-shaped monkey on their back. And there’s much you can learn from this.

Keeping calm, staying in control of your emotions in challenging situations in the workplace will usually result in you getting the result you need.

For instance, if you’re having a difficult conversation with a problematic colleague or if you’re struggling with your workload, keeping calm and openly discussing your challenges is not only best practice but will usually result in a much better outcome.

Is it coming home?

With the quarterfinals looming and a game against Sweden, England has a shot at reaching the semi-finals, providing they can usurp their Scandinavian rivals.

But can Harry Kane and his men, do it? And is football, indeed, coming home?

Let us know what you think on our social media channels.

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