Yes, “Your Child Never Walks Alone” is a slogan inspired by Liverpool FC’s “You’ll never walk alone”. Yes, the bosses – myself included, are massive fans. But here at Ilham Child Care, we value the sport of football as a point of inspiration for our business.
In fact, the tactics of soccer can be highly useful when applied to business. These tactics include employing similar coaching methods, utilising performance based evaluations, building a global network, and understanding the importance of teamwork.
In this post we will explore each of these tactics and how they can be most usefully interpreted from soccer to business use.
The Coaching Mentality
One of the greatest assets any business leader can have is the ability to step between the mentalities of both a boss and a coach. When in this role, it becomes your job to have the best working knowledge of the rules of the game. In business, this can apply to everything from tax liabilities to government laws and regulations.
While you want your players to also be well-versed in the rules, it is up to you to ensure you have built a team with the most sufficient knowledge and ability to apply themselves with this information in mind.
Utilising Practice Drills
As a coach, one of the most important factors to strengthen your team is to build into their schedules a regular routine of practice. Your team should run practice drills that help them to maintain and develop their skillsets.
According to an article published on Cleverism:
“Within the business environment, providing training opportunities for employees is essential. Not only is it important that employees stay current on new trends, methods and information about the industry, it provides the company with means to establish training opportunities.”
In terms of business this can translate to simulating employee-to-client interactions, engaging in mock scenarios, and cross-training employees to have skillsets in multiple positions.
While it is important to have a team that can switch positions with ease if need be, it is also crucial to observe each individual and determine what role they are best fitted for. In a business or corporate setting, this means ensuring that each employee’s skillset is being utilised to its fullest potential.
Building a Strong Team of “Starters”
Performance-based evaluations can also be a great source of motivation and inspiration for a business team. In soccer, the best players are often referred to as “starters,” and not only do they generally begin the game, but they also receive the most overall playing time.
When applying this to employees, this tactic offers a wide-ranged competitiveness that keeps your team on their toes and working hard in order to get their fair share of “field time.”
Building a Global Network
One of the greatest benefits that a business can bestow upon itself is a wide and global network of peers, communities, and opportunities for feedback. Building a network that embraces different viewpoints and perspectives is essential to business growth and success.
One article published on Entrepreneur compares the World Cup to how businesses should approach networking, because the World Cup is one of the largest global events in the world that brings together a wide range of diverse communities. The article further states:
“The best startups think outside of their direct surrounding, and understand how, where, when and why people value their company. While not always convenient, embrace an unfamiliar community and find a way to get true product feedback.”
Embracing Unfamiliar Territory
Any soccer team should be ready and willing to embrace unfamiliar territory, as matches must be played in a variety of locations and in front of differing fan groups. The same concept should be applied to business, as a business team should be more than able to adapt to changing situations and environments, while still performing at their highest potential.
No matter what your business entails, teamwork should lay at the foundation of your business’ success. Strong communication and understanding between teammates is essential for not only day-to-day proceedings, but for the overall well-being and productivity of the company.
This means your team should share a bond both inside and outside of the office. Giving team members the opportunity to connect with one another is essential for having a strong sense of loyalty and support within a business.
“Passing the Ball”
Connection between teammates will ultimately lead to them understanding how to best work together. During a soccer match, players must be able to naturally read the field and know when to pass ball for the greater success of the entire team.
Business teams as well should understand the importance of sharing success and working together for the betterment of the institution as a whole. While competition between employees can be a great source of motivation, a commitment to working together should always reside at the core of your workforce.
Looking to soccer and the tactics that make a soccer team great is an excellent way to find methods that can be easily translated into business tactics. In truth, a business team is much like a soccer team, and finding ways to connect the two can ultimately help you to further the success of your business.