A new twist was added to the FIFA World Cup history on Tuesday 8th July 2014.
The devastating loss of football giants, Brazil, to Germany, is a story that will not be forgotten in a hurry.
That day, world cup football history was broken. Germany trashed Brazil 7-1, to clinch a place in the finals.
As we all try to grapple with what really happened, I believe there are underlying lessons for us to take home.
1. Talent Doesn’t Always Guarantee Success
Even though I am not a full fledged football follower, it was easy to see on the side of the Brazilians great individual talented players, playing with the biggest clubs in Europe and England. Yet they fell like a pack of cards when it mattered most.
BBC pundit, Alan Hansen had this to say about the match:
“In 22 years as a pundit, and 40 years in the game, I have never seen anything like it.”
The lesson is simple.
It is not always the most talented that achieves the most success in life and business. Beyond talent, we must employ a burning desire to succeed in life and follow through with a plan.
2. Appreciate Individual Brilliance But Build Collective Intelligence.
One of the most useful films I’ve watched in my life was The Musketeers.
That was where I heard the mantra…
Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno…
meaning in English: One for all, all for one.”
It looked like with the absence of skipper Neymar and Inspiring Defender, Thiago Silva, the Brazilian side lost direction and motivation.
Everyone could see that the Brazilian team built its strategies around those two guys, unlike the Germans, where you couldn’t actually say this is the man to inspire them.
Here we can clearly see that a motivated team working together to achieve a particular goal will outperform the greatest skill working alone any day, any time.
Remember even the Holy Book says that one shall chase a thousand and two shall chase ten thousand.
3. There is No Small Enemy (Competition)
In as much as we can’t just say that Brazil underrated the Germans, it was obvious that the world much more favored the Brazilians to win that game.
Just like everyone, I never believed that Germany could pull such a stunt on the Brazilians.
So we must learn as individuals and entrepreneurs to:
Never Underrate Your Enemy.
4. Don’t Ever Be Carried Away By Your Success.
Looking at the World Cup, it seemed that Brazil was having a smooth run until they were disgraced by Germany.
It’s always safe to never allow your successes in the past get into your head.
Remember MYSPACE, and Orkurt? At a time they were the most popular social networking sites. But where are they today?
Many times we’ve seen great ideas and companies crumbling because they stopped innovating and started thinking that they have arrived.
5. There Are No UnderDogs in Real Life.
There are no underdogs anywhere, when it comes to real life. A dog is a dog.
The competition itself proved this point more than the Brazil-German match.
Most of the highly acclaimed soccer powerhouses like England, Italy, Spain and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal were all beaten in the early stage of the game. While the less likely countries, like Greece, Costa Rica, Nigeria, USA, went to the round of 16
Things like this always happen to teach us a lesson in life. You are not small unless you think you are. You can provide exceptional service and take your place in the media as a great successful startup or business, irrespective of your small beginning.
6. Always Have a Plan B
We hear this often in films, especially in war films. But the same principle ought to be applied in life and business.
There are no fail-proof plans.
No business, company or team is immune to breakdown. There will be occasions when something, someday will go wrong badly. It is unavoidable and cannot be planned for.
However, when such breakdowns do occur on account of individual absence from the scene, PLAN B or C or D can bail us, if they are in place.
In this case, the injury of Neymar and absence of Silva led to a complete failure.
There was complete absence of the interplay among the Brazilian team. As a result, individuals were running ahead or behind in disarray. There was no coordination, harmony, or synergy of purpose, in contrast to the Germans, whose ball passing, possession, and integration were remarkable.
7. Be Prepared to Change Your Winning Approach If It’s Not Working.
Change is the only permanent thing in life. And we must be willing to adjust and change with the changing world.
Systems that worked 4 years ago cannot work today and will be obsolete in the next four years.
Many businesses have faced such tough competition and could never bounce back.
They simply refused to change the frame through which they were looking at the changing world and could not re-define their meaning of growth and definition of success.
REALITY is the only determinant that never remains constant. When REALITY changes one must change the mindset through which that reality is being viewed.
Two goals down in the first 25 minutes, especially with the pace and momentum generated by Germans, Brazil needed to think about the very definition of victory.
It was time for them to take stock, regroup, and not cede additional territory to the Germans rather than still nursing that faint hope of equalizing and prevailing over the tough opponent.
They may have been much happier going down 0-1 or 0-2 rather than 1-7, a defeat that will haunt them for decades.
8. There are No Sentiments in Life and Business
The Brazilians probably started the game with the mindset that the emotions, passion, and hype of millions of fans would cruise them through without realizing that the rules of the game had changed.
While the fans were cheering them, their opponent were implementing their strategy and scoring the goals.
Success in life does not come on the heel of sentiment. It doesn’t matter how many people wish you success and give you a little support, without getting out there and aggressively pursuing your goals you will remain where you are.
Sentiments can never get you anywhere.
9. Learn to Retreat ASAP, Re-plan and Proceed.
In 6 minutes, between the 23rd and 29th minute of the game, Brazil conceded 4 goals.
It should have been obvious that things had gone wrong with the game. The best plot would have been to regroup, re-plan and proceed, instead of trying to catch up with the opponent and equalize.
If they had tried to increase the possession of the ball and improve their passing, they would have made a better impact in the game. By trying to generate momentum, often in disorder at the opposition’s defense line, they gave the Germans further firepower to counter attack.
The lesson here is simple…
In life, we must learn to accept reality when they face us, and instead of trying to catch up, we must retreat ASAP, re-plan and then proceed.
10. What Did That Match Teach You About Life?
It’s your turn.
That match will never be forgotten in a hurry.
What did you learn from the game?