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Leadership lessons from football game

CA Rajesh Pabari , Last updated: 21 August 2014  

Frankly speaking, we can get to learn leadership lessons and business growth ideas everywhere if we have the eyes looking for it and our heart longing for knowledge and wisdom. Football is world’s most popular game (by view count, fan count and also by player count worldwide). Let’s find out some interesting business leadership lessons that we can learn from football game.

Today, I was reading a PDF file giving summary of a famous book called ‘The 8th Habit’ by Steven Covey. From the book, I came to know about an interesting survey conducted by Harris Interactive (Now merged in Nielsen Group). The survey of 23,000 US Residents in top industries with key functional areas revealed most stunning findings and it mentioned that if these findings stand true for a football team then it’s impossible for them to win.

The above survey also finds place in Steven Covey’s book ‘The 8th Habit’. The findings of the survey are analyzed in lucid manner so as to correlate it with football and understand its implications on business.

Finding of the survey


Business Implication

Only 37%, of the subjects who were surveyed, said they have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why.

Assume that only four out of 11 players know which side they have to goal; How they will play at their best in such situation? It’s unimaginable, isn’t it?

If your organization does not know what you are trying to achieve, there is a great chance of employee disengagement.  

Only one in five was enthusiastic about their team's and organization's goals.

According to the given ratio, Assume that only two players of the team are interested in winning the match for their country. Again, unimaginable, isn’t it?

If you want to succeed in business, you need to engage your employees towards team’s and organization’s goals, so that they act and work for achieving the goals of the organization.

Only one in five said they have a clear "line of sight" between their tasks and their team's and organization's goals.

In a team of 11, if only two players know how their contribution is going to impact the overall game. Insane, isn’t it?

Each and every employee should know how their role is impacting the overall working of the company’s operations and achieving company’s goals.

Only 15% felt that their organization fully enables them to execute key goals.

Players are not enabled to play as per their capacity. They were not given training; they were not given opportunities and facilities to practice for their game.

Employees should be given appropriate skill development opportunities. The abilities to work towards company’s goals should be developed in them. And should be made a priority. People development is the key to organization’s success in 21st Century.

Only 20% fully trusted the organization they work for.

Assume that 8 out of 11 players do not trust the organizers/sponsors/coach/team players. What will happen in such environment of distrust? 

The organization should have an environment where employees trust the leaders and the management. Environment in the organization should enable employees to discuss issues and ideas with top management.

To conclude: If, say, a soccer team had these same scores, only four of the 11 players on the field would know which goal is theirs. Only two of the 11 would care. Only two of the 11 would know what position they play and know exactly what they are supposed to do. And all but two players would, in some way, be competing against their own team members rather than the opponent. - Extract from the Summary of the book.

Despite all the progress in technology, product innovation and much more, most people are not flourishing in the organizations they work for. They are neither fulfilled nor excited at workplaces. They are frustrated (most of the time as I see it). They are not clear about where the organization is headed or what its highest priorities are. They are bogged down. Most of all, they don't feel they can change much. - Extract from the Summary of the book.

At this juncture when we are celebrating 68th Independence Day today, it’s our responsibility to think in this direction. Can we change this scenario? Can we do something which will reverse the trend shown in the above survey findings? Can we create culture in our organization which will allow our workforce to thrive in their career and will unleash their potential? If we start thinking about it and take steps towards making better work environment, it will be a great patriotic act for this nation. It’s not necessary for all of us to go to the border and fight for the nation. What’s equally important is what we do inside that borders for the fellow members of our society, for the people who are working for our company, and for the customers who are buying your products or services. If we focus our attention from getting to serving, I think India can go a long way.

We always take proud to see our army people giving their life for saving the nation from terrors and enemies around. Are we also making them proud by showing them what we are doing within these borders? Are our lives worth giving attention to? Do we deserve their sacrifices for saving our lives? Think about these powerful questions, it can stir you soul, I hope they do.

Jai Hind. Carrying wish in my heart to see a great nation in next ten years. But without your efforts, it won’t be possible. Join hands and we can do miracles. Believe me, we can do miracles.

Find more such articles at leaderzeal.wordpress.com

Send your feedback to me on carajeshpabari@gmail.com

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Published by

CA Rajesh Pabari
(Chartered Accountant)
Category Others   Report

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