Tag Archives: Soccer

What A Soccer Player Teaches Us About Business

I spent part of the weekend watching the UEFA Euro Tournament.

European football government body badge

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re into the sport of soccer, it’s must-see TV and the matches have, in general, lived up to the tournament’s stature as the best football tournament on the planet behind the FIFA World Cup.  During one of the games, the commentator described a player in a way that triggered an immediate business thought and that’s today’s topic.

The defender was described as having “a lack of pace but always a perfect reading of the situation so he’s quite valuable.”  In other words, he has the ability to read the situation on the field, react appropriately, and is rarely out of position even though he’s pretty slow relative to the other players on the pitch.  In my mind, that’s a good description of some desirable business traits as well.

How many executives do you know that act on knee-jerk reactions?  When they’re right, they’re often ahead of the field or have headed off a problem before it starts.  When they’re wrong, however, they often spend resources chasing markets that don’t develop or betting on new technologies that never pan out.  They end up out of position.

As businesspeople we can’t confuse activity for progress.  Moving quickly is always desirable but moving a bit more slowly while compensating for our lack of speed with a much better understanding of the situation is even more desirable in my book.  It’s not a particularly new thought:  we’ve all heard the fable of the tortoise and the hare and I expect we all know a few folks we’d describe as “slow.”  Slow is, in my mind, a relative thing – if they get to where they need to be because they can analyze a situation and react appropriately within the available time frame, they’re pretty valuable.

How about in yours?

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud

Relegation

Club Atlético River Plate

Image via Wikipedia

How many of you are familiar with the concept of relegation?  In sport we see it most notably in international club soccer, where the bottom teams in a league are sent down to a lower division and the top performers in that lower division rise up to play in the higher tier.  Obviously, there are financial implications and clubs that are built on one set of economic premises based on playing in a top league often suffer severe hardships when they are relegated.

What got me thinking about this was a note from my buddy Oz about River Plate‘s relegation in Argentine football.  One of the oldest clubs in the world, this is the first time they’ve been out of the top division since…well…never.  This is the first time.  So what does this have to do with you? Continue reading

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Winning Fair

I’m really sorry the World Cup is over. It’s amazing to me how the intensity of the event starts out at a high level and just keep growing, reaching its apex during the final, as it did yesterday. Two sides determined to win at all costs and bring home glory. Ah, competition!
Any yet, in every World Cup game we get a business lesson when someone gets hurt. Continue reading

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