5 things football players would know about leadership

The footie fever is running high, and all anyone can talk about right now is Brazil and the FIFA World Cup. Thatís all very well, as not even we at myStarjob.com could not resist this opportunity!

All too often in the football scene, the managers cum coaches get all the glory for leading their team into a winning streak in championships. While itís true that the coaches give their all to their football teams, football players too have to have a lot of discipline, focus, and resilience to push their teams to become the winners that they are.

They, too, would have a taste of what it takes to be a great leader, having been through their own brand of challenges and experiences, unique to that of a football player:

Culture is identity

A football club goes beyond just being in a team. It is a way of life, at least for that duration that youíre in.

Former Manchester United manager, and one of the greatest sports coaches of his time, Alex Ferguson, strongly believed in this. Each member of his team was to act like a winning team both on and off the field.

When you believe you are a winner, eventually youíll get there. It is a powerful self-fulfilling prophecy worthy of The Secret. So if from day one, you do not curb that culture of gossipy, belittling, and pessimistic remarks, youíre definitely asking for trouble.

Donít just compete with your opponent

If you do, youíll end up being only a little better than your opponent. Instead, compete with yourself to unleash your full potential, and be the best you possibly can.

Tap into areas that seem impossible, potentials that havenít been explored. Sure, this may involve strategising against your competitors and opponents, eventually, but that does not have to be your ultimate end goal.

ďAim for the sky, and youíll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling, and youíll stay on the floorĒ Ė Bill Shankly, former Liverpool manager.

People will throw bananas

What matters is how you react to them.

In life, especially when youíre on the way up your ladder of success, youíll spot the haters. The ones that want to bring you down because, in truth, they canít come to terms with their own achievements. Haters will always be haters.

They donít matter. Like how the FC Barcelona player Dani Alves reacted to the infamous racial gesture of being thrown a banana (while the audience silently gasped in anticipation), what you do is you grab that banana by its face and eat it for breakfast. Pretty much like what Alves did.

And then, you move on.

Play the hand youíve been dealt

How many times have football players been given the card? Sometimes, the players deserve it, but at other times, the judgement may seem inconsistent, biased, or an overreaction on the refereeís part (at least, to the diehard fans).

Then, comes the negotiating.You see the player talking to the referee, sometimes heatedly, and the referee holding his ground. The whistle blows again, and thatís that.

Yes, life is unfair. Sitting around and whining about it will get you nowhere. If something can be done about it, then do it. Otherwise, move on with the game with the hand that youíve been dealt.

Know when to let go

Football players know when their time is up. You canít always be in your prime, especially in such a strenuous sport, and you canít always be in action if you want to maintain the winning streak. Once youíve passed your peak, itís time to let the next generation of players fill your slot.

Similarly, to groom your successors at work, youíd need to let go once in a while, and let nature and your past sessions of coaching take its course. Sadly, there are bosses at the workplace who cannot seem to take it down a notch at any given time. They think that by doing this, their authority and respect are undermined.

On a brighter note, a football player would likely not be one of them.

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