The eyes of the world were on Germany and Argentina this past weekend during the final game of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil — and for good reason. Lionel Messi, arguably/considerably the greatest player in the sport, was poised to cement his career with a World Cup win for Argentina. However, the measures taken by the German team ensured they would be the ones to find success on the world’s stage.
Why were they successful throughout the World Cup and against the titan, Messi? Any more importantly, how can you apply these lessons in your professional endeavors to ensure equal success? Here’s how:
Plan for Success
Germany invested heavily in building a camp for their players in Rio prior to World Cup. While other teams checked into hotels and endured traffic to get to training grounds, the German team became acclimated to the weather, environment and surroundings.
All-Stars, Not Superstars
David Beckham is a household name and Lionel Messi is sure to be one as he continues to appear on the cover of the FIFA video game//if his continued appearance is any indication. If you were to ask one person on the street to name a German player, they probably wouldn’t be able to. What does this mean? The German team is recognized for what it is: A TEAM. While it’s common strategy for teams to set up their star player for success (and generally works well), it can have detrimental effects as well.
In the historic game between Germany vs. Brazil, Thomas Mueller, Germany’s main player, had many opportunities to score and earn the Golden Boot Award for most goals scored throughout the tournament. Four German players ended up scoring a total of seven goals that night, and in one particular instance Mueller passed the ball to his teammate Kroos, allowing him to break the record for most goals scored in World Cup history rather than being selfish, guaranteeing a Golden boot for himself.
The 2014 German team performed like a well-oiled machine. They were tactical, precise and on point. Talent and skill were well diversified as the team was lined with players ready and able to net goals and block shots. A balanced team, both defensively and offensively. Instead of depending on one another, they naturally complemented each other.
Resilience and patience are true signs of a winning team. Germany delivered high quality performances again and again throughout the tournament. Too many teams came out strong, but fizzled out as time reached the final minutes. No matter which team and accompanying Superstar player was in front of them, Germany was able to adapt and provide a consistent delivery in every minute between the first and final whistle.
What I learned from Germany’s performance were keys to success in a professional life. In order to achieve success, you must incorporate the following elements:
1. Preparation — Success is when preparation meets opportunity.
2. Teamwork — You can’t do it alone. Surround yourself with goal-driven people.
3. Having a system in place — The closer you are to the goal, the easier it is to score.
4. Resilience — Be confident in your flexibility to adapt to any situation.
5. Consistency — Maintain a high level of performance at all times.
Regardless of the type or size of your business, I am confident that if you are already successful, your model consists of these elements. If you’re not, perhaps it’s time to take a page from the 2014 World Cup Champion’s playbook.