Leadership in sports and leadership in any business are not that much different from each other. In most businesses, there’s usually a team of people, but even if it’s a team of just one, how you manage that team has many similarities to coaching a sports team, so in this article, we’re going to look at why leadership in business is really just the same as coaching a soccer team.
One might say there are two main aspects to a soccer game. In short, the first is building the right team to cover all the aspects of the game you need. The second is applying that mix of skills on the soccer pitch to reach the desired end result – this sounds very much like managing a team within a business.
The Soccer Coach and the Business Leader
Let us look at the skills needed to match a soccer team and see where the similarities lie in more detail, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it highlights some of the essential skills they both need…
A Captain Always Puts Their Team Before Themselves
Really good team captains – and leaders always put the team before their own personal sense of glory. They accept defeat as well as a victory but they always point to the team as being the ones who got them there, and they always take the wrap for the team when it does not go right.
They Seek to Lead by Example
Jean Chalopin an entrepreneur said, “To some degree, you have to know your business, or you cannot lead in it.” You cannot gain the respect of your players or your team if you have not been there and done it, or are not prepared to get your hands dirty when the team needs it.
They Inspire and Motivate the Team
Being inspirational in a team is important, how else are you going to motivate your team to become winners or pick them up when the scoreline – or the sales figures are not working in their favor. Stepping in and being inspirational, with the right words, at the right time is important.
We all have the capacity to believe we can achieve great things, and the capacity to let negativity seep into those beliefs, not only does a coach believe that they can achieve their goals, but they have the ability to instill and maintain that belief within their team, banishing the negativity.
Hard Work and Effort
They believe that going for the ultimate is hard work and they are not afraid to put that effort in. A leader is not scared of hard work, they know the mountain
Perseverance and Faith
Finally, they also have an absolute belief that the process – their process, will ultimately win out. They believe that doing the right things, at the right time, in the right order, with the right team, with practice, perseverance and belief, are the best routes to attaining their goals absolutely.
Vision and Values
They have a vision of how the team must perform, they nurture the team to play to that vision, it is a vision the team can see and follow. The vision is so compelling it brings the team and other management along with it and when it works, this only works to strengthen the belief.
So, to Conclude…
A business has aims and objectives they want to achieve, just like a soccer team does, they set the business and the team up to aim for and achieve those goals. If it does not work, they change things around, the team, the tactics, the goals but they still aim for the win. With that, I will leave you with this quote
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
The author of this text, Robin Trehan, has an Undergraduate degree in economics, Masters in international business and finance and MBA in electronic business. Trehan is Senior VP at Deltec International www.deltecbank.com. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text are solely the views of the author, and not necessarily reflecting the views of Deltec International Group, its subsidiaries and/or employees.