It didn’t come home – what business lessons can we learn from Russia 2018
The build up to the football World Cup 2018 in Russia was very understated, from an English point of view. I can’t remember speaking to anyone that gave England much of a change, in fact I was probably one of the most optimistic in forecasting England getting knocked out in the quarter finals by Brazil (yeah, that prediction worked out well!).
I’ve been impressed with how Southgate has gone about his duties as England manager, I believe that there are business lessons that we can learn and implement.
We can learn to be innovative from Gareth Southgate and England. For years England have adopted a 4-4-2 formation, occasionally the ‘Christmas tree’ formation, but 9 times out of 10 the English formation involved a flat back 4.
But Gareth Southgate decided that he’d go with an innovative 3-5-2 formation, utilising a flat back 3 with 3 central midfielders and the ‘2 wing backs’. Okay, so some of the more informed England or football fans won’t agree this is innovative, it’s been used by other countries for decades and England even used it in the 90’s. But this showed innovation in the current FA climate.
In your business, do you show innovation?
This is one of my favourites, Gareth Southgate was decisive in his decisions. As mentioned above, Southgate opted for the 3-5-2 formation believing it best suited England’s ability and the players. I remember in the build up to previous tournaments that England managers would still be experimenting with formation in the final few warm up games. Also, I believe that Southgate knew his first choice starting 11 way before the tournament started, yet I remember as recently as 2016 when Roy Hodgson experimented on the eve of the tournament when Hodgson experimented with dropping at the time one of England’s (now all time) top scorer into midfield.
Do you make decisions in your business in a decisive manner?
One thing that has been a stand feature of this England team is the team spirit, something that I believe has been lacking in the past and especially with some of the egos of the ‘Golden Generation’. There don’t appear to be any in the England, everyone appears to want to play for each other.
You might not have a team in your business, it might just be you. But, you can still learn a lesson here and positive a positive spirit, I bet there are jobs you do in your business that you dislike. So, foster a positive team spirit and positively do all the jobs that need doing, not just the glory ones.
Ignore the Haters
There’s a saying, “haters gonna hate”. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do, there will always be haters and always be ‘Negative Nigel’s’ (sorry to any Nigel’s out there, especially the positive ones). The English press have a reputation for getting on the back of the England team, pulling them apart at every opportunity. But, being a leader means that you must have courage in your own convictions and stand up in the face of those haters. I believe through a combination of personal strength and the points raised above that Southgate has pretty much silenced the haters.
Do you stand up to the haters and have courage in your own convictions?
It CAME Home
There were songs of “It’s Coming Home” for weeks, and I for one started to believe it might come home. Unfortunately, England lost to Croatia in the Semi Final of Russia 2018. First of all, I’m proud to see England get to the Semi Final, I saw them play in Italia ’90 as a 10 year old and for years it looked like I’d never see it again.
I believe it DID come home though, not the World Cup trophy but a pride in being English. For years England appeared to be a joke at football, so much wasted talent and opportunity.
I was in the local town on Wednesday morning, the atmosphere was amazing. There were lots of pensioners out shopping, lots of the guys had England ties on. There were older ladies all chatting to themselves about the match and how well England had done. There was a real sense of pride, even dare I say it…. Achievement that England had done as well as what they had.
So, football might not have come home. But being proud to be English did and in such a positive way.
So, the ultimate business lesson here is this. What can you do in your business to replicate that “feel good factor”?
Honey Bee Accountancy