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Business vs soccer

七月 3, 2006 留下评论 Go to comments
There are many similarities which can be drawn with the World Cup and the business, and there’s a lot we can learn from the way each match is played.
 
Like this global football competition, the business is one of continued and sustained performance.  One win isn’t enough – just when you’ve triumphed against one competitor, you find you have to turn around and do it all over again, and again.
 
In soccer, the game is often decided in the closing minutes.  Whilst this makes for gripping football, it is hardly the way to manage a clean win.  Three goals were kicked in the final seven minutes of the Japan – Australia match;  the Australia – Italy match was decided in the final 30 seconds.  These types of close calls are imprinted in your brain – there is definitely a feeling from the losing side of truly being ‘ripped off’ – the ‘if only’ factor.  What would have been more effective, of course, is to establish the lead well in advance of the closing minutes.  The business is exactly the same – leaving deals to close in the final throes of the quarter leaves too much to chance, and puts too much strain on all players concerned.  We need to find ways to secure the deal so that our ‘win’ becomes a demonstration of commitment to succeed for our clients, rather than a commitment to achieve numbers.
 
And finally, there was a clear difference between those teams who are established leaders in the competition versus those who are relative newcomers.  I heard time and time again that the players on both sides are equally talented – what set them apart was the teams that played smart.  They knew the moves that would count, and those that would not gain them any traction – and they played accordingly.  This wisdom comes with experience – playing different teams, understanding the competition and utilising different tactics until they found what worked best.  In our team we have both experienced players and newcomers.   We have leaders with a depth of experience in selling and closing deals; and we have some young players with real potential, who need support and guidance when they’re out there on the field.  Telling them is one thing – joining them on the playing field elevates the performance to a totally different level.
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