Real Business Lessons From This Year’s FIFA World Cup

Congrats, France! Man, this FIFA World Cup certainly did not disappoint. From small countries beating perennial powerhouses to teams breaking decade-long curses, to flopping (oh so much flopping), it has been a tournament to remember. Now that it’s over, let’s take a look at some lessons we can learn from this year’s World Cup.

What got you here won’t necessarily get you there.

Argentina, Spain, Germany…Boom, boom, boom. Out like flies. 3 legendary, successful teams eliminated early in the tournament. Few of us could see that coming. Now I’m not saying any of these teams were complacent in their recent success, but seeing these teams fall is a good reminder:

What got you here won’t necessarily get you there.

There’s a certain calm that comes with moments of triumph and with that, we logically move forward with what has worked in the past. For teams that have been victorious, it’s hard to deviate from a game plan that has proven to be so successful in the past. Maybe in your business, that sales strategy worked great for you in Q1 or you hit all major company goals for the year – so why change things? But remember, while you’re celebrating, the business climate changes, consumer interests evolve, or your competition is out busting their tails, working overtime to get another chance for success.

Always celebrate wins, but never get too comfortable. With every win there is something to learn, something to improve on. With each achievement, you set new expectations, so get back to it and win yourself another championship.

Drive can be better than experience

One of my favorite examples of this is the hunger of the youth on the French team. In the game that ultimately ended Messi and Argentina’s hopes of lifting the coveted FIFA World Cup trophy, a young 19-year-old striker stepped up and scored (twice) when it mattered the most. His ambition and his palpable passion helped drive his team to success.

When it comes to running a business and hiring the right folks to help you succeed, it’s not all about experience. Potential can be more valuable than past performance, and having major talent and experience isn’t always enough. Just ask Argentina.

Finding team members that have the willingness to do the work, that have the ambition and the drive to achieve and succeed are key to building and growing successful companies.

This year’s World Cup highlighted the importance of being able to adapt to change even when you’ve been successful in the past and reminded us that the strongest teams are made up of experienced players and ambitious rookies. So get out there and win.