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Sometimes you just need balls

But his captain’s hand on his shoulder smote
Play up! play up! and play the game!

At the risk of sounding like one of those cheesy motivational speakers, there are some lessons to be learned for business from the latest round of sporting stories.

If BMJ as a team performed the way the England football team has done in the last two weeks we would be out of business. There seemed to be no communication, no confidence, no trust between any of the players, or between the players and the manager. And no-one was prepared to take a risk- particularly in the Algeria game.

That is no way to try and win a game – and no way to try and win in business. In fact, for most of England’s four games, it seemed like none of them actually wanted to be there or win anything. How often have you had dealings with companies where they make it really hard to deal with them, leaving you wondering whether they really want your business?

Like football, some companies understand better than others that for a good business you need teamwork, faith – in individuals and the team -, trust, mutual respect and the confidence to take a risk now and again. Sometimes you need these attributes more than at other times, sometimes you need them all at the same time. But you also need to be able to deal with set-backs.

Lampard’s goal against Germany was in, I’m in no doubt about that. Had the England team gone into the second half 2 all, this might have been a different blog because their mindset would have been different. But, guess what guys, stuff like that happens in life.

The measure of a man, woman, team, business is how they deal with setbacks.

Goodness knows, this industry has had enough of those over the past few years and some businesses have fared better than others. Some businesses have behaved more like the England team, others have behaved more like tennis players John Isner and Nicholas Mahut.

Compare the football with the performances of the Wimbledon pair’s record-breaking 11 hour match over three days, when the final set score was 70:68 in favour of the American Isner. Both men have probably permanently damaged their health but they were not prepared to give up or give in.

If the England football team had possessed one percent of the cojones that Isner and Mahut have then we would win the World Cup every time.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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