While watching the World Cup, we saw some incredible displays of teamwork on the pitch! Here are 7 lessons we can learn about the magic of teams from football:
➡️ Be explicit about your goals and strategy
Teams need alignment on the shared goal. You can only win if you know what you are working towards.
➡️ Don't disregard middle management.
The captain is never the coach and you need both to succeed. Solid leadership defines a roadmap for success, but you need a champion to implement the strategy for it to work.
As a matter of fact, managers contribute to a minimum of 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.
➡️ Build a team of talent, not a team around talent.
1 all-star cannot beat a full team. When 'Messi' lost to 'Saudi', we framed the game as a person vs a team, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Image source: CNBC
➡️Communicate your needs explicitly.
Football is not an assembly line, teams are constantly collaborating and iterating: they are interdependent. You may not hear it over the commentary, but players are communicating to each other on the pitch: by holding up hands, looking into an empty space, tapping on another player's shoulder...
➡️Assess your team gaps, and keep those in mind when hiring or upskilling.
Diversity is not only about ethnicity. Of course, that is critically important, but so is building teams with various skills and expertise.
➡️Ensure all members identify as being part of the team, and know how their contributions create value.
Team identity creates cohesion. It's easy to attach value to the membership of your team when you represent your home country, but not all teams have that clarity.
➡️Retrospect often and make the feedback actionable.
Football teams come together in celebration of success and in times of failure. There will always be ups and downs, and learnings from those experiences is what drives performance.
If you're looking for a structured way to run a retrospective, download our free worksheet.
What have you learned from watching the World Cup?