Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup Lesson

I just finished watching the US National soccer team lose to Ghana 2-1 in the World Cup.

For those of you who know me, you obviously know how much this loss kills me. I am a huge soccer fan and had high expectations for this year's team's chances in advancing into the later rounds of the World Cup. Despite the loss today, I think that this team really lost the tournament in the fifth minute of their first game (on June 19th) against the Czech Republic. Everything since then was simply formality.

Since that first game, this team didn't step up and play to their fullest ability.

I think there is something to be said about the power of team and realistic expectations. Though it is easy to compare sports to what we face in business, I believe that there is a real lesson in what developed in this year's World Cup. When you don't function as a team, no matter what kind of talent or opportunities may be handed to you, without every member of that team performing, supporting and functioning as a team, the results are always the same... You will lose.

Soccer to me has always been an exciting sport. It is true that there are those rare exceptions like a Mia Hamm or Brian McBride that can do amazing things as individual players. However, if the team doesn't defend, move the ball, or open up the one, not even Mia, can make something happen. Soccer, like most team sports, is all about teamwork and just as in business, without it, it simply doesn't work.

Ripple On....and GO ENGLAND, GERMANY & GHANA (gotta root for the dark horse!).

Bumming on a Thursday!


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