After 31 days of passion, emotions, tears and joy, the football world cup has his new champion, the Germany team. A champion that has taught us valuable lessons that we can apply in our daily work as entrepreneurs and founders.
24 years had to pass before the german team could get the crown of champion again. Is the fourth time in the history of Germany that they win the world cup and without a doubt, the team under Löw directions, deserved the glory.
But this started long ago, this was the result of a process that last over 15 years, and it’s this process where we can get the most valuable lessons. Winning the last world cup is just the result of years of hard work, dedication and focus. But is the experiences behind all this what matters the most, where we as entrepreneurs can learn incredible things.
Here are the 5 most important lessons we can learn from this espectacular team.
1- They are a “TEAM”, and they play FOR the team.
Germany has amazing individuals players as Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller or Bastian Schweinsteiger, but if we analyze the whole team we can see that in every line, from the goalkeeper (Manuel Neuer chosen by the FIFA as the best goalkeeper in the World Cup) unto the offensive line, they have players that do an specific, but amazing job, in each role in the field.
There are not “stars” players above the rest, there is not a Messi or a Ronaldo as the star of the team. They are 11 players in the field, working toward a same “goal”, playing for the team, not in pursuit of a particular player.
A team with these characteristics is the same needed in any organization, but especially in a startup. Is essential to build a team around this philosophy, where there are not “stars”, rather, a group of individuals that working together can achieve and understand much more than by themselves.
2- Failure is part of the process if you want to succeed
Over the last 4 World Cups, since Korea/Japon 2002 until South Africa 2010, Germany was the only team in the history of the World Cups to be part, four times in a row, between the first four semifinalist.
-Korea/Japon 2002: 2nd Place
-Germany 2006: 3rd Place
-South Africa 2010: 3rd Place
-Brazil 2014: 1st Place
Also in the Eurocup of 2008 they lost the final against Spain and in 2012 they again reach to the semifinals. More than 10 years of being one step away from the glory, 10 years that many of us could consider a “failure”. But this team showed us that in order to succeed, there must be a rigorous and continuos line of work, that failure is just part of the process and a moment of learning. Something that is a everyday thing in the entrepreneurial culture.
3- The importance of a “work culture”
If you think about the German team, the first things that come to your head are words like: Tactic, discipline, strength, etc. That’s not a random thing, is part of the culture and the “brand” they have been building in all this years, and is one of the most important factors to understand why today success.
Extrapolating this concept to the startup world, we can see brands like Buffer, Kissmetrics and many others (Hope SlidePick can be on this list soon) which have build an amazing product and also an amazing brand and a name that educate and inform their customers, rather than self-promote, as a way of brand awareness, this is recognized around the world.
Building a “Work Culture” is something crucial to have in mind from the start of any process. From a startup, to a football team.
4- Embrace diversity
The Löw selection brought together a multicultural team including: Polish Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose (who holds the record for most goals scored in the World Cups) and Turkish ancestries Mezut Özil, Tunisian, Sami Khedira, and Ghana, Jérome Boateng.
“Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” Ola Joseph
Beside the “multinational” players, they brought together the experience from the veterans, like Klose (36) and the motivation of the youngest integrants, like Mario Götze (22) who did the goal in the final.
When you are capable to work and see diversity as an advantage point, that’s the moment when the uniqueness of each individual works on the improvement of the whole group. Leadership, experience and motivations are all key factors to ensure this.
5- Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Stay Focused
For me, one of the most important lessons they leave in the field was their hunger for glory, their foolishness to go to Brazil and overcome 7-1 to the host of the world cup. The focus of the players, managers and staff in the Federation to know exactly where they were going and what was their purpose.
“The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can’t let yourself be beat because of lack of effort.” – Michael Jordan
This three concepts were the base of the amazing campaign that the german team did, and also should be the base of the daily work of every entrepreneur. Where every day should be taken as a possibility to do greater things than the day before…Thats was exactly what the German team did.
The world cup is finished, but now is our turn to apply what we saw and learned in this month on our daily work, in our own world cup!
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