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Three things Businesses can learn from the World Cup

Many of the characteristics shown by successful businesses are shared by the most accomplished teams and stars of sport. 

So it makes sense to see why these traits synonymous with success are so important both on and off the field. 

Leading World Cup coaches like France’s Didier Deschamps, Brasil’s Tite and England’s Gareth Southgate act and behave in ways to ensure they get the most of their players on the field, and that’s something business owners can do to make their team remain motivated and focused. 

With the world cup reaching the knockout stages, it takes a solid plan, a strong team and outstanding work ethic to give the highest chance of success as possible....much like in business.

Below are our top three lessons business owners can take inspiration from the World Cup.

Encourage personalities

Every sports team usually has at least one natural born leader, alongside members who prefer to reside in the background. There are players who are outspoken and self assured, whilst others appear shy and more cautious. Trying to blend these personalities to form a cohesive team is one of the most difficult task sports managers have, but this is something business leaders can learn from too. 

In work environments there are too a myriad of personalities. One team member may love taking the lead in meetings or tasks, while another is more inclined to absorb the information in a more relaxed manner. This isn’t a bad thing; having a team solely made up of outspoken extroverts or a team of shier introverts would prove unproductive. A diverse team allows for creativity, variety and different ways of approaching problems or the task in hand. 

To have a successful team, it’s vital to understand and embrace these different character types, and to find ways to facilitate communication and build a level playing field where each member feels valued and important.

One way to see what personality types are apparent in your team is by taking tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  

Focus on each individual's strengths

In sports, there are very few individuals who can do it all, even Ronaldo and Messi miss penalties! That’s why we assign roles, placing team members where they can be most effective.

In football for instance, the tallest, strongest and most able communicators on the team might be assigned to play centre back, where they can assert their dominance over the opposition attackers and organise their own team. 

On the other hand, wingers are usually the quickest and most agile players, who can flummox defenders with their instant change of direction and blistering acceleration. 

The same strategy can be adopted in your business. Rarely is one team member good at everything. Select job functions based on each team member’s strengths. One person might excel at sales, while another could have more creative skills. 

If you’re unsure on what your team members’ strengths are, then ask. Find out what motivates them to come into work every morning, and build that passion into their official roles.

Keep training

Sports stars get to where they are by putting in the hard work. They spend several hours a day practicing the basics, alongside fine-tuning elements specific to their personal style of play; Harry Kane will spend time allocated solely to shooting while John Stones will be working on defending corners. 

You can adopt this training habit in your own life. This could be as simple as attending seminars or conferences or reading an industry-specific book. Whatever it is your business does, the more time you spend practicing, planning, and training to get better at your role, the bigger the edge you’ll have on the competition.

Business doesn’t have to be complicated. The next time you sit down to watch England (or whoever) watch how the players and managers interact. You could learn more than you think.

For help or advice growing your business, contact our team on or call 0151 348 8400.